Posted August 25, 2013

Terrelle Pryor takes first-team reps, will start in Raiders’ final preseason game

AFC West, Oakland Raiders
(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Pryor led the first-team offense in practice on Sunday, and will start the last preseason game. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Raiders head coach Dennis Allen didn’t exactly give Matt Flynn a vote of confidence following his team’s 34-26 loss to Chicago on Friday, a game in which Flynn threw two interceptions on just six pass attempts.

“I don’t think Matt [Flynn] played well in this game,” Allen said in his postgame press conference. “Obviously, I thought Terrelle [Pryor] came in and gave us a spark. I thought he played well in the game. I think that’s something that we have to go and look at it. I’m not going to make any decisions on anything, obviously, tonight. … But it was obvious that Terrelle gave us a little bit of a spark tonight.”

Allen may not pick the Raiders’ starting quarterback based on that game vs. the Bears, but Pryor clearly did enough in Allen’s eyes to earn a shot at the job. Sunday, with Matt Flynn sitting out of practice with a sore arm, Pryor led the first-team offense. He will do the same Thursday, when Oakland closes out its preseason slate at Seattle.

A strong showing there — against what likely will be the Seahawks’ backups and third-stringers on defense — and Pryor very well may be Oakland’s starting QB moving forward.

For Flynn, the whole situation has to feel painfully familiar. Flynn entered the 2012 preseason as the Seahawks’ No. 1 QB, after signing a three-year deal with them, only to lose the job to up-and-comer Russell Wilson. With Wilson firmly entrenched as its starter heading into 2013, Seattle traded Flynn to Oakland. Oakland then waited on taking a QB in the draft, eventually snagging Tyler Wilson in Round 4.

By all indications, the Raiders were ready to roll into the season with Flynn under center.

But a shaky camp and preseason, coupled with reports that Flynn’s arm strength basically limited him to short or intermediate passes, gave Pryor an opportunity.

Though he was not exactly lights out himself over Oakland’s first two preseason games (7-of-15 for 97 yards and an interception; 46 yards rushing), he saved his best for Week 3 of the exhibition schedule. In that loss to the Bears, Pryor connected on 7-of-9 passes for 93 yards, rushed for 37 yards and accounted for two TDs.

Pryor’s ability to get out of the pocket and run certainly adds a different dimension to Oakland’s offense than Flynn. And it is a valuable dimension, given that an already-shaky Raiders line recently lost standout left tackle Jared Veldheer for the season.

However, this is still counts as a surprising rise for Pryor, who lost his only start last season and admitted to the Bay Area News Group in July that he had not learned how to properly throw a football until the current coaching staff arrived.

“I never really knew how to throw a football before,” Pryor said. “It’s coming along. I’m getting way better.”

Should he hang on to the starting job, Pryor will have his work cut out for him. Three of the Raiders’ first four regular-season games are against 2012 playoff teams (Indianapolis, Denver, Washington), and this team finished just 4-12 last year despite getting more than 4,000 yards passing from Carson Palmer.

Oakland traded Palmer to Arizona this offseason, ending what was a rather rocky marriage — and, it appeared at the time, setting the stage for Flynn’s second chance at being a franchise QB.

Those plans have all changed now — at least for the moment.

45 comments
K-Jun
K-Jun

Oakland has a poor offensive line, well paid, but poor in skills. For that reason they need a QB that is mobile so he won't get sacked before he sets his feet. Matt Flynn is a good QB but he is not with a team that can use his skills. Pryor probably will start the season because he is mobile. 

Matt Flynn had his best shot at Seattle. Don't know why he faltered but he must have so he was shipped to Oakland. He has not looked good during the pre-season. Well, at least he is making good money. That does not hurt. Would not mind being in his position. 

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

"I never really knew how to throw a football before,” Pryor said. “It’s coming along. I’m getting way better.”

===================================

WHAT???? A NFL QB who never knew how to throw?  And he got on a team? Hey, I can't throw either...and I'll do what he does for half the money.  HIRE ME.............Oh well, Sanchez can't throw either

GoBlue_1985
GoBlue_1985

Playing with a program that is known as sports`betting_star.  Making approximately $3000 every 30 days playing its tips.

JimSaunders
JimSaunders

Pryor is a schmuck but these brothers are in vogue right now, i hope he gets his knees busted up

DSM
DSM

How could Pryor not have learned how to throw at the highly regarded Ohio State program?  Of course, Tim Tebow did not learn anything at Florida--why do top programs not teach their top players?

nycsteelersfan
nycsteelersfan

1 QB spot??  It's final season of preseason.  This situation not only what you have but its ALSO what u got.

Ciscos
Ciscos

Terrelle Pryor should have been given a shot at the QB One spot.  Matt Flynn has to be having a case of Deja Vu here.  Then again, some coaches and organizations act like a teenager in the backseat with a girl for the first time.  They gushed and fawned over Kevin Kolb (Ken Whisenhunt) and he turned out to be flubber in a uniform.  Then they gushed and fawned over Flynn (Pete Carroll) only to find out he's a virtual rubber duck.  The league's history of doing that is incredible.

I hope Pryor does well since after three years in the league, 2/3 years at Ohio State and four years of high school football - that he just learned how to throw a pass. smh.


gary41
gary41

The only way the Raiders can throw long is using a mobile QB, but Pryor has not been accurate, in the past, even in the horizontal game.  QB coach Greg Olson is a distinct advantage and capable of making a difference, but with their OL the Raiders are going to have to go with quick release-timing routes in the short term.  At this point, it is hard to know whether they are committed to a strategy or just evaluating relative strengths of personnel on hand.    

GTT
GTT

Wonder how much he paid for those tats. Oh wait ...

j7apple
j7apple

Could the last of many many Al Davis draft gaffs finally pay off?  nahhhhh   lol

John4
John4

Matt Flynn = Kevin Kolb = Sanchez = Gabbert = Ponder = Leinart. Average QBs who are not difference makers. Pryor could be in a few seasons.

John4
John4

Nice change for the raiders. But they are still 4 and 12 or 5 and 11 in 2013. The over under is 5.5. How in the world do they win 6? They don't.

e.blanton
e.blanton

Well, those ARE some pretty sweet tats.


friendly--neighborhood--scrawler
friendly--neighborhood--scrawler

@JimSaunders 

Why is Pryor a "schmuck" because he traded this "OWN" stuff and signed his "OWN" name for tattoos. One thing i know Pryor is the same if not a better person than Johnny Football character wise, and Johnny is getting a pass. 
 
AND these "BROTHERS" as you put it .. are not in vogue... These are the results of athletic blacks getting a change to "TRYOUT" for the position.. Before,  in many schools if you had any athletic skills you were not given a chance at Quarterback, which i found silly. The ball should be in the hands of your best football player. No other sport takes the ball away from it's best players.

@JimSaunders You better GET USE TO IT, because at one point blacks weren't allowed to play linebacker because of some perceived intelligence level, and we saw how that turned out .. What you are seeing is the evolution of the position and it needed to start from high school, now dual threat players are all over college and eventually it will be in the pros and people like you cannot say, well that style does not win. Only and idiot would think limiting the potential of a position is a good thing.... They are not asking for a handouts only a fear shot to compete for the position and if Pryor is better than Flynn he should have the Job

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@JimSaunders Always nice to see the deep-thinking, envious crowd wishing injury on someone.   FYI, because your life is a dreary, dead-ender does not mean that you have to wish everyone else down to your level.

nycsteelersfan
nycsteelersfan

@DSM cuz that how win in college sir.  Coaches ain't tryna breed these boys for another level or for another day.  Id make my 4.4 qb run too when the defense front seven got no push and can't barely run a 4.8.

modsuperstar
modsuperstar

@Ciscos The part I find funny is how it's another young, mobile, black quarterback. Both 3rd rounders, both somewhat unheralded. It's uncanny.

nycsteelersfan
nycsteelersfan

@Ciscos that he just learned now to throw a pass but he aint even learned that yet.  not in the nfl with every backfield moving at 4.3 speed.  he run but who can he outrun not to the end zone at least.

Ciscos
Ciscos

@gary41 totally agree... first rule of coaching is knowing your players strengths and weaknesses... second rule is putting your players in a position to be successful.  Having said that, if you know he's not good with the deep ball, you go underneath.  You take your deep ball shots when confidence is high, but otherwise you don't make that a dominant part of your game plan.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@GTT Good one.  Always good to see you members of Mensa International think that you are being original.  For about the billionth time.

nycsteelersfan
nycsteelersfan

@GTT haha you crazy...should have one that says sponsored by OSU booster club.

RichLGerhold
RichLGerhold

@GTT anyone who faults Pryor for what he did, and doesn't fault Manziel, is a total hypocrite, including the entire ESPN and SI staff who blasted the Ohio State players just three years ago, and now think Manziel should be able to sell his name. . 

Doug867530917
Doug867530917

Um, he traded his own stuff for the tats. Not exactly stealing.

nycsteelersfan
nycsteelersfan

@j7apple brother....al davis gone R.I.P. will this still be raider's excuse?  it will take change at the fullest to make good decisions with this team.  they need a good philosophy and not the one right now in addition to the draft decisions.

nycsteelersfan
nycsteelersfan

@John4 average QBs are not difference makers pryor could or could not be in a few sesons but too early to tell.  right now he throw like he runs and vice versa.  nfl pundits can argue up and down but players leave it all on the field and aint done that yet so right now he less than lienart even.

Ciscos
Ciscos

@John4  

1. Matt Flynn should have never leaped into a starting spot.  One or even two games as a backup doesn't make you the hot ticket.  It did in Flynn's case and Seattle and now the Raiders are learning their lesson.  He gets a D.

2. Kevin Kolb - Another back up that Ken "I'm really not a QB Guru" Whisenhunt went Lady Gaga for that didn't pay off at all.  He gets a F

3. Blaine Gabbert - The book is still out on Gabby, but hopefully with a new HC and OC that doesn't believe in having the QB save the day, Gabby will end up being a good game manager.  All I need is my QB to get the ball in the hands of my playmakers. That's it. Gabby can do that with the right offense. He gets a C

4. Christian Ponder - Not as sold on him as Gabbert. But see second half of Gabbert review here. He gets a C

5. Matt Leinart - Mr. 50-50.  50% of Leinart's problem has been him.  His initial poor work ethic became his jacket.  He should have stayed in Houston, but what QB wants to stay a lifelong back up.  Kubiak understood him and worked well with him. Can't knock his time with the Raiders because it's the Raiders. Quite frankly by time he hit Seattle, I think his confidence was shot.  Spending the past 8 months away from the game, working on his, should have rebuilt it.  He gets a D+ (only for the 8 months of work)

6.  Mark Sanchez - The Jets, as an organization, have done more harm here, than good. Sanchez, with a strong supporting cast, "led" the Jets to two AFC title games in his first two years.  However, since then the Jets have systematically disassembled the team he had around him.  They didn't improve it one bit.  They let OLinemen walk, RBs leave, and gave him only one true WR - whose been hurt repeatedly for almost two seasons. Hurt by having a bad attitude and the other with a foot injury.  I can't blame that guy for being that bad.  Now Ryan got him hurt playing him behind his 2s and 3s. Smh. Sanchez get's the benefit of the doubt here and I'd give him a C-

PWINGS
PWINGS

@John4"Matt Flynn = Kevin Kolb = Sanchez = Gabbert = Ponder = Leinart. Average QBs who are not difference makers."

You point out a phenomenon that occurs both in the NFL with QB's as well as MLB with starting pitchers and has occurred for some time. Team expansion + increased difficulty of job description = diluted talent pool. The result is a constant condition of too few truly qualified candidates for too many positions. There are starting QB's and starting pitchers who would have been backup QB's or AAA pitchers if it weren't for team expansion. It's not a personal criticism of any of them really. It's just acknowledging the reality of the situation.

PWINGS
PWINGS

@John4 How many seasons are "a few"? What do the Raiders do in the meantime? If you were (are?) a Raiders season ticket holder, would you be satisfied with that? Just askin'.

nycsteelersfan
nycsteelersfan

@John4 specially with payton and alex smith in the same division.  its doing to be a race to who put up more points and raiders aint winning that race.

nycsteelersfan
nycsteelersfan

@friendly--neighborhood--scrawler @JimSaunders he aint smart and he aint got the skills to run a option package not the ones they run in the pro anyway he thought he bad back in Jeanette High School cuz u 6'5" runnin with dudes thats 5'8" but this the nfl bruh.  when everybody around you runnin a 4.3, what you have is what u got.  U run an agility test wit dis boy and kapernick terelle might win kapernick may not have the physicality BUT all he do is win.  plus he soft.  skinny too.

nycsteelersfan
nycsteelersfan

@JoeCabot @JimSaunders dual treat quarterback none but first downs if you runnin cover two and you ain't spyin on his speed but he aint got speed like that plus can't decide can't even decide back in jeanette high school how he wanna play or who he wanna play for.  he ain't colin kapernick not even close and he on the same division as payton and we don't even know what that boy alex smith bout to do.  Do he have the skills to put 400 yards a game on the offense don't think so wrong division and wrong year bruh.

nycsteelersfan
nycsteelersfan

@DSM U tryna learn to throw....sign the letter from the PAC-12 school.


nycsteelersfan
nycsteelersfan

@Ciscos @gary41 second rule is knowing your opponents strengths.  run teams will win games but only win games where the score be low and offense win by running.  we got payton here with the broncos and alex smith we dont know what hes about to do.  will terrelle run 400 yards a game to match payton's 400 passing when they meet but TWICE!  dON'T think so!!!

donald5
donald5

@RichLGerhold @GTT I think it has more to do with people wanting to be on whatever side the NCAA isn't on now.  The NCAA has had 3 years of horrific public relations disasters that have pitted most of the general public against them.  People are less on Manziel's side and more rooting against the NCAA at this point.

j7apple
j7apple

@nycsteelersfan @j7apple  lol, The Raiders and good philosophy will not happen. Take the Flynn deal, A one game wonder in Green Bay, beat out by a rookie in Seattle then traded to Raiders.  Raiders guaranteed  Flynn $6.5 million in 2013, and his base salary for the 2014 season is  $5 million.  For a backup?  These are decisions a confused GM makes.

John4
John4

@Ciscos Ciscos - yours is one of the best comments I have ever read.  Great, intelligent insight.  

John4
John4

@PWINGS No I would not be satisfied.  But Pryor seems to have a lot more upside than Flynn.  If the Raiders go with Flynn, (who will win 25 to 40 percent of his starts) then they will be back to the drawing board in 2-4 seasons.  (During which time, Pryor will probably have left due to FA).  Of they could start fresh and go with the younger, more athletic player.  Have some growing pains, and then start to win games at a higher rate than they do now.  

John4
John4

@nycsteelersfan There are a few (very few) teams that look "primed" for the number one overall pick.   The Raiders, Jets, Jaguars, come to mind.  Collectively, I don't think they win 9 games.  

John4
John4

@PWINGS ... or they could start fresh ... typo