Oct 13, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) is sacked by Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston (50) during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders: Why Terrelle Pryor Doesn’t Deserve Another Shot


Why Terrelle Pryor Doesn’t Deserve Another Shot at the Starting Job

Terrelle Pryor has squandered his chance at the starting position in Oakland. Following a Week 3 concussion suffered in Denver, the third-year signal-caller failed to regain the starting position from undrafted rookie Matt McGloin. There have been many opportunities for him to win the job back, but it just always seemed just out of reach.  There have been flashes of greatness, and then just as quick as those flashes happen, there is some head-scratching decision to follow it up. Heading into his fourth year in the NFL, Pryor’s throwing mechanics and general ability as a passer are suspect at best. His ability to extend plays with his legs is a great thing to have, but shouldn’t be relied on all the time. The Raiders would be wise to keep him on as a backup QB and move on to find their franchise guy.

In the off-season leading up to this year, Pryor spent a lot of time trying to fix his passing mechanics and pocket presence with Tom House. Coming into the ’13-’14 season, Pryor’s throws and pocket presence looked much improved, but his tendencies to throw off of his back foot, jumping, and across his body came back to hurt him in the latter part of the season. This really affects accuracy in throws. Plenty of Pryor’s throws were either at the receivers feet, or flying over their heads into opposing defenses hands. Many times his receiver would have to jump to even make a play on the ball, drastically reducing the opportunity to gain yards after the catch (something that the new Raiders brass is very high on). The tendencies to roll-out to his right and tuck-and-run while doing so have become apparent to defenses and they are able to stuff him at the line at a high rate. These things should not be something that a QB entering his fourth season as an NFL player would do.

Pryor’s pocket presence could also use some work. There are many times where he is standing in the pocket, and then out of nowhere he lets a bomb go flying down field to a receiver that is smothered in double-coverage just because there “might” have been some pressure from the right or left. Not only does this give testament to how much work needs to be done on his throwing mechanics (because usually this throw is accompanied by his back foot coming off the ground) but to his decision making as well. By slowing down and going through the progression of receivers and stepping up into the pocket, Pryor would buy himself some time and likely find a much higher percentage throw in the short to mid-range of the field.

Moving on from Pryor and keeping him on as a backup QB would give the Raiders a chance to find their franchise guy, as well as keep him on as a gadget player with some specific packages for him to get him into the game. Just having Pryor on the field makes the defense have to man up and play some honest defense. He does have dual-threat capability, but the long and short of it is, Terrelle Pryor cannot be the starter in Oakland if they are looking to build and make a comeback to relevancy.

Tags: AFC WEST Featured NFL Oakland Raiders Popular Terrell Pryor

  • Brian Huth

    If TP works as hard this offseason and makes as much progress as he did last offseason, he’ll be fine. In TP I trust. I hope the Raiders brass isn’t as shortsighted as this writer.

    • John Thomas Hurdle II

      Brian I think or Brass is. For he need to be wanted to get the proper help to his performance use his talents. With a strong run game. Latavius Murray will be up this year. We need to let McFadden go keep Jennings.

      • KloverJane

        I don’t understand your paragraph, at all.

    • friendship220

      I hope so too. Pryor really could be the best QB in the NFL, in time. Being the best runner gives him an advantage. Better passer than Manning or Brady? Maybe not, but if you’re the best runner, far better than Manning or Brady, you can be the best QB, without being the best passer. Pryor could revolutionize the position.

  • big ROC

    His decision making is what hurt him the most. He might have led the Raiders to a couple more wins if he would just throw the ball away. Time after time he would scramble backwards and lose yards by getting sacked or running out of bounds instead of simply throwing the ball away.

    There were also numerous read-option plays where the defense sold out to stop the QB but instead of handing it to the RB he would keep it himself and get stopped for a loss.

    As for TP2 as the Raiders QB in 2014, it all depends who the other options are. There are free agent QB’s in Mike Vick, Matt Schaub, and Mark Sanchez but how much better would they be than Pryor behind the Raiders’ O-line? I’d take Pryor over those three and definitely over McGloin.

    If the Raiders use the #5 overall pick on a QB then that guy has to be the opening day starter.

    I think Pryor would have been a better QB if he saw the field more in his first two seasons. In 2012 when the Carson Palmer led Raiders were out of playoff contention Dennis Allen should have played Terrelle Pryor more often to get him some in game reps. Last season was basically his rookie year.

  • Joseph Budd

    Don’t think his ability to reclaim the starting position has as much as him wanting to get back in, as Allen stonewalling to get McGloin a long look at how he plays the position. Both QBs are polar opposites of each other, as one is a pure pocket and the other is a mobile QB option. Both QBs would probably do better if Oakland had a line that wasn’t swiss cheese, but that goes without saying. Telling us the team needs a different QB isn’t addressing the real problem…You could put Plunkett or Stabler in their prime behind our line, and both would be on the injury list before long, you need to keep them healthy to win.

  • Mark Shafer

    Pryor has a strong arm and is incredible fast. When he was playing in the start of the season Mc Gloin would have been crushed with all the injuring a to the offensive line.
    It was his ability to scrabble to extend plays that gave us any chance to win. I don’t think that the lack of protection helped Pryor’s development as a young quarterback.
    Remember Pryor went into training camp as the number three quarterback. Draft a quarterback in the third round or bring in a veteran and let him compete. Mc Gloin would not have beaten the Chargers, or the Steelers in those conditions.

    • DanfromVegas

      It’s not so much that McGloin had better protection than Pryor as much as the fact that Mcgloin stayed in the pocket and he got rid of the ball quicker. McGloin didn’t “get smashed” because he thinks quickly on his feet.

      • Mark Shafer

        I agree that Mc gloin goes through his progressions and gets rid of the ball faster than Pryor. His biggest problem is his height, I don’t think he is 5 – 10.
        The game appears to be going much slower for Matt that Terrell. The first three games the protection was horrible. The offensive line got better as the season progressed. Which I think hurt Pryor, having the abilities he has also hurt his development.
        To say Pryor doesn’t deserve a shot at the job is ridiculous. I think both Matt and Terrell deserve a shot. I just feel that Pryor has more of a chance of success than Mc Gloin, due to Mc Gloins height. Like I said he is not 5 – 10.

        • DanfromVegas

          McGloin is actually 6’1″. If you watched the games, you likely saw that he was smaller than the linemen, but not tiny by any means. I think if the Raiders have an opportunity to pick up a free agent QB, and they end up drafting another, then Pryor won’t make the cut.
          You can’t seriously make the argument that having a 3 inch height advantage makes a taller QB a better option. MCGloin outperformed Pryor in every category except running the ball. If Pryor makes the roster, I wish him the best of luck. I hope he becomes great. I am first and foremost a Raiders fan, and I will never place a player before the team. However, I think his days as a QB are numbered. He just isn’t very good.

          • Dean Thomas

            McGloin made all the receivers better too, much better to be able to catch the ball on time, in the right place than not knowing where the hell the ball will be. Look at the progression of Streeter, Holmes & Rivera. The defense started costing the Raiders games as they wore down due to lack of depth.

          • DanfromVegas

            Agreed. The offense was flowing pretty good at times with McGloin. With Pryor, there wold be the occasional explosive play, but the offense sputtered and looked pretty impotent.

  • Jaime Olguin

    Pryor had his chance to improve when he first came in to this league but instead was the last one in the flim room
    And the first one to go home, know all of a sudden he’putting in time with Tom House and working on off days with
    The receivers, that’s all fine and dandie but you put your self behind, Now Matt has come in and done a great job plus we started scoring more getting first downs and most importent scored more in the red zone, now if our defence would of stepped up we would of won more games , I believe giving Matt the chance to start as number one
    Undercenter it would give him more preperation to be ready when preseason rolls around, but still we need to either
    Draft a QB or pick one up in AF, but will see what Reggie and Dennis have planed, and you know in the season ending presscon that Reggie gave it didn’t sound like he was happy with Pryor so will see what comes of it when
    March rolls around. GO RAIDERS!!!!!

    • John Thomas Hurdle II

      OK you say Terelle was last in and first out. When you keep telling him he is not your QB where is his confidence going to be? But he knew he could win Against Matt Flynn, McGloin wasn’t even drafted by the Brass. So that tell you they don’t know talent as far as Quarter Backs because they should have gotten Vince Young for no draft picks and 2 Million. But we gave up draft picks and 11 million to Matt Flynn. Sad. O-LINE sucked in the first 5 games.

      • Jaime Olguin

        The fact of the matter is that when a new regime comes in they want their own people. Terrel is not
        Their type of QB , second Reggie did make a mistake with Flynn and he knows that, yes we didn’t draft McGolin and Wilson was not even the QB that they wanted but they got him, not all GM’s always
        Get it right. I’ll tell you this Terrell will not be in camp for the 2014 season and we will still be a better
        Team I am confident of that. And Young is not a good QB

    • Brian Huth

      Pure BS Jaime Olguin. Nobody worked harder in the offseason or during the season. You have nothing to substantiate your “last in first out.” His teammates came out pubically and said he’s the hardest worker on the team.

    • Don

      Russell Wilson 5’11″ won a SB. I believe MM has potential to be a starting QB

  • John Thomas Hurdle II

    Hello, Duston you might been a Raiders fan all your life. But you not old enough to understand a QB history. Pryor started the season when the coaching staff was trying to give the position to Matt Flynn so they only had a hand full of plays for Pryor. So he was not comfortable with the whole playbook. But as far as he being a 3 yr. Signal caller. He been on practice quad because he came out of college early. Then you change the coaching staff and GM. That was not believing in him as you don’t. He is just 24 this is his true rookie yr. Now beginning of the regular season first 5 games the front line was not the starting front line. because of injuries. So yes he ran or throw quick into double coverage to receivers he felt comfort with. Young QB. But the coaches did not want him to be successful he was drafted by Al Davis. We have a team with 3 backs that weight is over 215 each. Two full backs 245 and up. When Big Ben came into league he had a strong running game, Russell Wilson, RGIII. So you see young man it not Terrelle does not deserve another shot he never got one. I say that he and McGlion both will be better with the playbook. So drafting a Qb that is new. Would be a waste. So you see you build a round a young rookie or QB and keep him in a system and he will be able to perform in 2 or 3rd yr. Just know your facts that 4 games do not make or break a QB.

    • Duston Downum

      I understand that 4 games does not make or break a quarterback, and I do believe I acknowledged the fact that he has dual-threat potential. Potential alone is not enough grounds to name someone your starter. You have to look at the collective body of work and really decide what is best for your team. You have to analyze all the pre-season film when he was making these mistakes against 2nd and 3rd string defenses and compare it to the outstanding game he had against San Diego, and I will be the first to admit that when I saw that game I thought he was the answer to all our prayers. But as the season went on, I began to see all the things that had plagued him before start to resurface. I really do appreciate your commentary on the subject. It’s good to see what everyone else thinks on the matter too!

      • DanfromVegas

        The thing with Pryor was that not only did he continue to make mistakes, they were the same mistakes that he never seemed to improve on. He hit his ceiling rather quickly and then simply regressed in every aspect of his game.

  • Silvia Arredondo

    Pryor is fast but he is way to cocky and he needs to be a better pocket passer. He held on to the ball way too long. He wasn’t good at reading the defenses either. He actually lost his starting job after he hurt his leg not after his concussion.

  • takerrulez

    McGloin at this point is a much better option at qb then Pryor. Just look at the games he started compared to the games Pryor started. Our offense as a whole just looked much better. We actually had a guy able to complete passes in the pocket. Part of the reason he has a much quicker release and makes much quicker decisions. If our defense was playing like it did earlier in the season McGloin would of even looked better. The reason we were 3-4 early in the season was because of our defense not Pryor. Pryor looked very good in the San Diego game but other then that one game not impressed at all. McGloin deserves the opportunity to battle for the starting position in training camp no matter who we bring in. As for Pryoreither change positions or it is time to cut ties

  • John Thomas Hurdle II

    Well you say that Pryor will not be in the camp. I beg you differ. How you can say Young was and is not that good he has a 19-7 winning record. He came in and the Raiders liked him. But had committed to fylnn.

  • Dennis Carroll

    After week 3 concussion he Failed to regain the Job back from McGloin? What season were you watching, Matt Flynn started week 4 Vs the Redskins and Flopped , Then Pryor came Back Week 5 and Beat SD and then Week 7 beat the Steelers , got Hurt Vs the Eagles. To be Honest the Problem isn’t TP , the Problem is this team doesent know how to develop a young QB

    • Taj Woods-Sutherlin

      Truuuuuuuuuuu

    • Dean Thomas

      Although, I would say TP had a great run, but the defense beat the steelers.

  • Dennis Carroll

    We fail to realize to man Pryor went to OSU to learn to run a Pro style Offense , one of the reasons he turned down Chip Kelly and Oregon , So all this read Option Bull they are trying to force him into made no sense to me , Never ran it before doesent know when to hand the ball off or hold it. They should have just given him the same playbook as everybody else and ran with it. In Greg Knapps awful Offense , from under center I ‘m pretty sure Pryor threw for 2 TD’s and ran for 1

  • DanfromVegas

    Pryor’s biggest challenges are his poor decision making ability and his lack of accuracy. He is fast and exciting, but he is no Russel Wilson or Kap. He will never be nearly as accurate nor as a good a decision maker.

  • AnthonyMills

    I dissagree Pryor os going to break this reporters heart watch guys he’s a beast waiting to get unleashed

    • Duston Downum

      I would welcome that Anthony, I really would. I didn’t write this article to say that Pryor would fail indefinitely, but more to the point of “these are the reasons why I don’t really see him getting another shot at the job”

      • AnthonyMills

        You know that could be a factor yet coach Allen really needs to let go of the choke hold
        McGloin is surely not a slouch no knock on him , Terrell on the other hand might have needed this particular hurdle to overcome I just would hate to see him get cut or traded and he explode my point coach Allen is not a x n o kinda guy Reggie is in his 3rd yr respectfully being a GM (picks he make, makes me wonder :/) the o line should be healthy plus maybe some nice additions added on thru draft or free agency defensive line more addition and TP 2 hard work will prevail in Oakland or elsewhere.

  • Oscar gonzalez

    Whether he deserves another shot or not, I don’t think DA risks starting TP on his do or die year.

    • KloverJane

      Very likely

    • friendship220

      Until he hurt his knee against the Eagles, Pryor was 3-3. Only lost to playoff teams, beat a playoff team and a 500 team. If they simply build around Pryor instead of doing all they can to force Pryor to play the position the way a QB without speed would play it, they’ll win. Even last year, if Pryor played every game, didn’t get hurt, and continued to beat the teams he was beating and losing to teams he was losing to, the Raiders would’ve made the playoffs. Clearly, it isn’t certain that Pryor would’ve beaten all the 500 and losing teams that he beat when he was healthy, but, if people are going to guess about the outcome, it’s most reasonable to start by assuming that the pattern is going to hold and then try to explain why the pattern didn’t hold.

  • KloverJane

    Why he does. Veldeer is back, assuming the front office doesn’t screw it up, and signs a new contract.With FA and drafting a beefed up offensive line would give the man, TP time to throw. Accuracy pending.

    • friendship220

      I’d like to see a focus on olinemen who can really run block. Open some holes for backs to run through. I don’t want the typical play to be – Pryor drops back, looks at 3 WRs who are slightly open and throws it to one of them, throws the ball away, or takes a sack.

  • Michael Klein

    The Raiders need to invest in top notch QB coaching it is a lot cheaper than chasing franchise QB’s. Both current QB’s have potential but without someone like Jon Gruden in the organization (who create Rich G and dismantled him) neither one will develop. btw Josh McCown has already been a Raider, Trent Edwards is not the answer- the fantasy of some franchise qb just sitting out their waiting to walk right in and save the Raiders is Ridiculous.
    TP- went on the bye week for extra work outside the organization. Dennis Allen- (obviously has a Mcgloin bias because he reminds him of a young Drew Brees, needs to be objective). TP has more potential that can be tapped sooner but nobody in the organization knows what to do with him.
    Great coaches know how to develop players and not just say they are not in the building. Some of the best players out there were not #1 picks, but were developed by good coaching, and hard work.
    I think we have 2 players who are willing to do the work but we are missing the development piece which falls or the coaches and the organization. (until as an organization we understand this we will continue to stay and fall behind) Seattle is one of the youngest teams in the league and is successful through developing young talent and creating schemes that work for their team. The last great QB we had was Gannon, he was a career backup til then. Gruden brought him in, coached him up, had a great line and skilled position players and in his final act dismantled him in the superbowl. The Raiders coaches need to start taking responsibility for player development. Some are some aren’t- Maybe John Diphiliano should go to cleveland but I don’t think they want him either. Or he should study his craft and develop two young potentially good-great qbs’ . It does not help that Mcgloin & Tp are different styles. The type of qbs the raiders pick up will tell alot. TP- MIke Vick- Tim Tebow- Johnny Manziel. Mcgloin-Trent Edwards-pocket passer To be named later. Obviously not Matt Flynn :(

    • friendship220

      They need you over at raiderfans.net – not enough solid, solid arguments in favor of Pryor. I’d like to see Vick, Tebow, Manziel (but not in the 1st round), Vince Young, Pat White, Taylor Martinez, Jordan Lynch, Logan Thomas. Before he was hired last year, Greg Olson was the QB coach of the Jaguars in 2012. I really don’t want these very questionable coaches making decisions that would remove Pryor. A college style running offense like Auburns would work when you have Pryor. McGloin was very well coached in college by Bill O’Brien. I think some of the coaching staff would like to “coach” McGloin. And when he appears well coached, they can take the credit that anybody who is paying attention knows belongs to Bill O’Brien. Sparano brought the wildcat to the NFL in 2008 and went to the playoffs with it as head coach. I have more confidence in that guy than other of the Raider coaches.

      • Michael Klein

        Just be prepared that Dennis Allen is going to be inclined to favor Mcgloin- he is most like Brees who he was with in New Orleans and won a super bowl. Dennis Allen has mismanaged the QB’s for the last 2 seasons. When the season was over and Carson Palmer was there who of us was not thinking why is TP not getting his turns? (he should have played the last 4 games). Then they waste time and money on Flynn. TP has probably won more games than most Raider QB with very few starts. Then TP at least keeps the season interesting by going 3-5 with some actual football excitement :). At the first opening they put Mcgloin in and don’t really give TP more turns. The bottom line is this, the coaches in Oakland do not know what to do with TP he has far too much raw talent for them and it intimidates them. Coaches like Chip Kelly who are fearless offensively drool over people like TP because they know what they are doing and are not scare of talent but design their scheme around it and guess what?? COACH IT UP!! Maybe we can trade Mcgloin to the Texans and he can be reunited with Bill Obrien?? Dennis Allen needs to take the attitude of his future QB is in the building and he is going to coach him up and build a successful game plan for him. Otherwise we will continue to watch Raiders be less successful in Oakland than they are when they go play somewhere else. You Know why?? Lack of effective Coaching and management. I do think they are headed in the right direction but Dennis Allen has lost my unconditional support. He needs to produce or I am glad they signed Soprano so he can step in and take over. He is doing his job, I think the linebackers are getting coached up as well. QB coach needs to produce, develop or take 2 weeks off and then quit. No more excuses..JUST WIN BABY!! So Big Al can finally RIP :)

        • friendship220

          I agree with almost all of this. These are points I’ve been making. Coaching is an issue. I don’t see it quite the same way as you do. I’d give Olson a larger share of the blame, or he’s the matter of concern. It’s hard enough to guess what’s really going on on the coaching staff. Sparano is quite ok. An innovator. Dolphins 2008. The wildcat. I can’t understand why Olson was hired. There were just too many really bad records everywhere he went. I’d like to see Malzahn at head coach. I don’t know exactly what DA might want in a QB. He’s a defensive guy. Isn’t Assistant Head Coach above Offensive Coordinator, or no? Put Sparano in charge of the offense, whether it’s with the title of Assistant Head Coach or offensive coordinator.

          McGloin to Houston also seems like a reasonable outcome. O’Brien is new to head coaching in the NFL and might want someone he knows about as insurance. Sort of like Flynn, but someone who beat Flynn out, and someone who wouldn’t be going in as the presumptive starter.

          • Michael Klein

            I put the development of the QB’s as the QB coach responsibility. The offensive scheme would be more of olsen/ allen responsibility. I understand they made another poor QB decision in Flynn and probably designed most of their scheme with him in mind. Then he stunk here is Oakland even though he had some success in Green Bay.

            Then they were left with 2 different QB’s with contrasting styles. The blunder of the organization and the coaching staff of taking Flynn we need to learn from, it has been a revolving door at QB. And many of those QB’s have had success other places. Mckown was a Raider already, Flynn in Green Bay, Palmer in Cincy & Az none of them had any success here. The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. Their is not a QB out there that is any different from the other we have spent good money and picks on. We need to stop the insanity and focus on coaching, development and an appropriate scheme. I think TP gives us the best chance to win next year but we need like style other Qb’s to step in when he gets hurts which a running style qb will frequently do. That brings in the names we discussed before Vick, Tebow, Manziel etc. But we need to pick up a great line and some more weapons on O.

            I sure would not mind developing a D like Seattle’s with all the cap room we have either.

          • friendship220

            Absolutely. Build around Pryor. Add QBs who are similar to Pryor. QBs who are similar to Pryor are the same types of QBs who have a variety of skill sets. These players could backup Pryor, but they’d also have other skills. And these players are often free. Tebow is free. You could go back through the list of best running QBs coming out of college every year. You could go back 10 years maybe. There’s a near limitless supply of ex dual threat college QBs who are not in the NFL. The demand for ex dual threat college QBs is far less than the supply. If nothing else, it means that replacement parts are cheap, and when you don’t have to spend money on QB, it means there is more money, more picks available for everything else. I’d like the great line to be excellent at run blocking. Typically, the best run blocking guard or tackle is cheaper than the best pass protecting guard or tackle.

  • Taj Woods-Sutherlin

    Whole article is bull. Give the guy a chance. He IS the most athletic player on their team. And probably the most athletic they’ve had in many years. If the Oakland raiders want him to succeed, take the time to help him develop. Throwing your qb on the bench when he struggles is discouraging.

    • Duston Downum

      Just because one guy is the most athletic on the team doesn’t necessarily make him a prime candidate for the QB position. Trust me, I am a Pryor fan, but I can also look at his situation realistically and put aside my like for the player and look at the good of the team.

  • PJ

    This is the best you can do? You lost me at the title!

    • Duston Downum

      Well, something must have intrigued you enough to read the article and leave a couple comments, so I appreciate that. Thank you for taking the time to read!

  • PJ

    Peyton proved yesterday that with no protection not even the best can survive so your point or the lack there of shows how litte you know about football or writing!

  • TribalX

    Pretty sad that these so-called writers keep writing about Pryor and Flynn just to get their comment numbers up. Whatever happened to writing about something informative. This crap has gotten old.

    • Phil Watson

      “just to get their comment numbers up.”

      People generally don’t comment on a story if they’re not passionate about it. I apologize on behalf of our staff for deigning to write about a topic that the fans care about.

      • TribalX

        The only thing your staff is doing is getting fans to insult each other. Fans are interested in reading new and informative stories as well. This is nothing but the same story with a different author.