Dennis Allen had to live though the most drawn out and dramatic quarterback controversy in NFL history during his one year in Denver as a defensive coordinator. Watching as the football world fell into the Tim Tebow trap could have contributed to Allen’s stubborn stance on Terrelle Pryor during his first season as a head coach in Oakland.
Not that Pryor is at all the distraction or incompetent mess Tebow is. TP6 can actually play the position that’s listed next to his name on the roster. Problem is Pryor just didn’t get the chance to show that until the last game of the lost season that was 2012. Perhaps Allen was just trying to avoid any distractions that might come from benching Mr. Unclutch aka Carson Palmer.
The line that was given during the season was that Pryor just wasn’t prepared. However Allen appeared more than prepared to keep losing with CP3 under center.
In a year filled with offensive lows the Raiders’ listless offense bottomed out near the end of the season as the Greg Knapp crap fest failed to find the end zone in consecutive weeks. Along the way Palmer was pounded in Carolina cutting short his miserable season.
When Matt Leinart looked very Tebow-esque in his only action of the season Allen had officially run out of excuses.
So Pryor got his first career start and despite some up and down moments the overall results were impressive.
An offense that couldn’t score if it found a drunken porn star knocking on its door after midnight came to life as Pryor had a hand in all three of Oakland’s TDs. For good measure he also led a late comeback that came up short during the season finale. That’s more than can be said for Palmer who racked up meaningless yards between the 20-yard-lines yet seemed to crumble in the red zone. Carson was also an absolute disaster in critical moments throwing costly interceptions every time the Raiders had an opportunity to win in close contests.
Pryor, on the other hand, revealed himself to be cool customer in the clutch and a valuable weapon in the red zone. Sure, it was just one game but it was eye opening considering how raw he was compared to how much NFL experience Palmer has.
Now with Palmer square in the crosshairs for a pay cut or pink slip the Terrelle Pryor movement has begun.
Reggie McKenzie publicly said he wanted to see what Pryor could do last season. Apparently he saw more than enough in one start to know the QB competition needed to be opened up during the 2013 training camp.
Of course there is still plenty that can and will happen between now and the start of Oakland’s camp. However there is no doubt Pryor looks to be bigger part of plan going forward. Raider Nation saw glimpses of the skill set that enamored Al Davis as visions of the Silver and Black possibly having their own Cam Newton (minus the diva/princess/bratty attitude), Colin Kaepernick or even RG3 danced through our heads.
Obviously it’s a stretch to compare Pryor to any of the aforementioned men who have proven much more. Of course they were given the chance to do so and to be fair were also much more prepared. Let’s not forget Pryor’s awkward route to the NFL and his rookie season that never was.
However there were flashes of brilliance in the preseason and some impressive plays made in his one regular season start. That might not be much but at this point it would be foolish to ignore the potential of Pryor over the flabby body of work put together by Palmer.
The Terrelle Pryor movement is here and what comes next could potentially be the beginning of a new era for the Oakland Raiders.