Jul 29, 2013; Napa, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterbacks Terrelle Pryor (6) and Matt Flynn (15) throw passes at training camp at the Napa Valley Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders: Pre-Season Quarterback Preview


Questions have been surrounding the Oakland Raiders training camp regarding who the quarterback will be week 1 of the regular season.  I’m here to testify that, in my opinion, the quarterback of the 2013 season should be Matt Flynn.  The starter for the first pre-season game will be Matt Flynn.  That is when most of Raider Nation will get a glimpse of why I think he should be the week 1 starter.  Those who have been lucky enough to see the quarterback competition in person at the Napa, CA, training center, could probably agree that Flynn has shown the field command and leadership necessary to be the number one quarterback.  However, let’s break down each of the four potential candidates, and you can form your own opinion:

Jul 30, 2013; Napa, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt Flynn (15) throws a pass at training camp at Napa Valley Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

1. Matt Flynn:  There is no doubt, Flynn has more to prove to the football world than his three other competitors.  In 2011, Flynn displayed a stellar performance against the Detroit Lions which spurred his exodus to the Seattle Seahawks.  It was thought that he would be the starter and savior for the Seahawks, but, as we all know, Russell Wilson unseated Flynn and the rest is history.  Now, the Raiders have given Flynn a chance to redeem himself.  After the signing of Flynn, I immediately found the film of his game performances online.  The films are few and far between, but when I broke down his performances, I noticed one thing.  Flynn is a good quarterback in the right system.

He has very good foot work and pocket presence.  His passes are accurate and have velocity behind them.  He has enough speed to elude rushers if the pocket breaks down.  Although Ron Jaworski (ESPN Analyst/Retired QB) stated that Flynn doesn’t have very accurate long passes due to arm strength, I witnessed his long balls first hand and they were very accurate with a lot of touch.  Not only this, but Flynn throws a beautiful back-shoulder pass that is being heavily practiced at Raiders camp.  As a leader, Flynn has very good field command, and he runs the offense very well during the 2 minute drills.  The first pre-season game will be a good barometer as to his development and performance in a game situation.

Jul 28, 2013; Napa, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor (6) throws a pass at training camp at the Napa Valley Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2. Terrelle Pryor:  Raider Nation really wants to see this guy succeed.  He is an awesome athlete who is fast and elusive.  Unfortunately, he still has a lot of work to do in order to show the Raiders coaching staff that he is the next QB of the Raiders.  There were some obvious signs that I saw on Tuesday, July 30th, that confirmed why he is still struggling.  His footwork is in need of a lot of work.  He has happy feet in the pocket.  His drop-backs were too short, and he waited too long to get the ball out of his hands.  He showed a run first mentality.  There was no denying his quickness outside of the pocket or his throws on the run, but he struggled with his accuracy and ball velocity.  A lot of his throws ballooned and took a long time to get to the receiver.  He is going to have to work on his mechanics in order to take over the number one spot.  The biggest positive I saw from Pryor was his red zone offense.  He ran a QB sneak that faked the entire defense out.  In this facet, he could be dynamic for our team during red zone opportunities.

Jul 28, 2013; Napa, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Tyler Wilson (8) throws a pass at training camp at the Napa Valley Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

3. Tyler Wilson:  The Arkansas Razorback alumni is exciting to watch in practice.  He has solid mechanics and good footwork.  His passes are thrown with velocity that makes a very distinct sound as it travels through the air.  When his passes hit their mark, a loud pop can be heard from across the practice field.  Accuracy was not an issue for Wilson.  It is plain to see that he was definitely underrated in the 2013 NFL Draft.  Based on what I saw in person, I don’t have many negative things to say about him.  The biggest negative I have heard about is his decision-making when the pocket breaks down in a game.  He has great arm strength and a lot of accuracy.  I can see this kid being the QB of the future for the Raiders.  Only time will tell.

Jul 30, 2013; Napa, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin (14) throws a pass at training camp at Napa Valley Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

4. Matt McGloin:  Coming out of Penn State, I expected him to have decent NFL QB mechanics, but I was very surprised just how good his mechanics were.  He had the best footwork of all the QB’s in camp.  His passes hit their mark with a lot of velocity and accuracy.  However, he had a tendency to throw low balls on the run.  McGloin is definitely showing that he wants to make this team.  He is developing very well and would be worth keeping as a number three.  That being said, he didn’t get as many opportunities as the rest of his competitors, and he will have to make a play for a roster position during pre-season.

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In a perfect world, the Raiders could keep all four quarterbacks and allow them to compete all season long.  Unfortunately, the Raiders will have to part ways with one of them.  Pryor is three years into his 5 year contract, but he could be used as a trade for a future draft pick if he cannot show further growth.  Flynn is still the apparent number one right now.  Barring any injury or poor pre-season display, I still believe he will be the starter for the 2013 season.  The one QB I see that has a chance to take Flynn’s spot is Wilson.  If this happens, it will be later in the season, and it will only happen if Flynn performs poorly.  McGloin is intriguing in that he could unseat Pryor for the third roster position.  This is not to say that Pryor is already the third string QB, but if McGloin were to take Pryor’s spot, he would be placed behind Wilson on the depth chart.  The competition will continue, and only their game time performances will be remembered.  August 9th is almost here, and I anticipate that Raider Nation will be very happy with how the QB’s are developing.

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Tags: Matt Flynn Matt McGloin Oakland Raiders Terrelle Pryor Tyler Wilson

  • FresnoTeacher

    Living in Fresno, I am excited that all of the Raiders pre season games will be televised locally, unlike last year. It will be great, though probably frustrating at times, to see the qb battle play out. I think the reason fans still like Pryor so much is because our offensive line has been so bad we think we need someone who can escape and make his own play for us to be successful.

  • Jay Haskins

    I was at practice along with several OTHER beat writers. We ALL have a better opinion about Pryor than you do. Matter of fact, I talked to Steve Corkran. We both agreed that Pryor has IMPROVED in EVERY area you criticized him on in your article. So eat crow when Pryor is EASILY out playing Mediocre Flynn during the preseason, who only consistently completes 10 yard slants during 7 on 7 drills. Flynn, unlike Pryor has been struggling in team drills (closer to game action). Most notably on Tuesday. You were there right? This time one of those little screen passes Flynn likes to throw was picked off by Tyvon Branch at the goal line for a 100 yard TD!! Why didn’t you mention that in your Matt Flynn report?? The reason is obviuos Hater!!!!!!!

  • Raider Grant

    I wish all Our QB’s the best, but also wish one of them steps up & takes this team too the top! Keep in mind that Pryor is only two months differ in age than Wilson, it will be nice to see how those two evolve as QB’s going forward if the Matt Flynn project doesn’t work out. Most of the Media praise the rookie Wilson, and look down on Pryor due to the fact he has been in he league for a couple years & still isn’t a starter, but they forget how young Pryor is & how hard he is willing to work to be that guy for The Raiders. With that kind of hard work & determination I believe Pryor will evolve into a starting NFL QB in due time(he’s not Tebow). Practice hard, play smart & Go Raiders!

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Not a hater. It wasn’t a screen pass that was picked off, it was a front-right corner end zone pass toward streamer. Branch jumped the route. Great read by branch. I hope Pryor does compete. From what I saw on Tuesday, he wasn’t as far as foot work goes. Also, he needs to get rid of the ball better. Thanks for your opinion.

  • Luis Garcia

    I’m tired of people throwing Pryor out of the picture, he deserves that 2 spot at least, just for showing pride and continuous effort to stay on this team. I’ll be psst if they let a rookie take his spot. Tyler damn sure ain’t no Russell Wilson.

  • AnthonyMills

    Dishing your a f****** a****** you do not know how to evaluate football real prizes are the chances like everyone else it seems to me that this I’m heading going on I won’t say it but you can read between the lines it’s unfortunate that a****** like you is pay to valuate pro football f*** off

  • bob saget

    If what people have said about him are true who ever grabs him is going to get a steal and a guaranteed starter in 2014, he was fucked over the past 2 year by the coaches and wasn’t given much of a chance to develop.. the fact that he’s spending his own money on people to help him with his technique speaks alot about how much he wants it

  • Tommy Bacigalupi

    I say keep all four QB’s,and it’s simple,make Pryor a QB/tight end and give him a tight end spot on the roster and put him out there on plays too,he’s worth keeping and that would be a good spot for him………..

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Apparently this pissed you off a bit. As far as evaluation goes, I offered my opinion. Not everybody will agree with my opinion, and that is the prerogative of the individual. For your information, I like Pryor. I hope that he develops and becomes the player that we all need the Raiders to have. However, he did not display it to me at camp. We need a QB with a quick release who can stand in the pocket and make quick and accurate decisions. I don’t know if any of the QB’s are ready for it yet, but I see the best option at this time to be Flynn. However, if this is Flynn’s best that he is giving right now, he will not be the QB of the future. Depending on what the Raiders do with the four QB’s, Wilson or Pryor will easily succeed Flynn by next year. The only thing that would secure a position for Flynn would be a winning season with a QB rating of 90 or better. We will just have to wait and see…

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Now this is an idea. It wouldn’t hurt us to keep him. Like I said, he is great in the red zone, and this is an area that we struggled at in the past. He is dynamic.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    This is so true. Pryor is still very young and needs to develop a bit more. I do believe that he will be a QB in the NFL. Once he’s ready, I hope the Raiders have him, but I don’t see this organization stringing him along for much longer. Pryor works his bottom off to get better. This is apparent by what he has been doing in the off-season. I hope he can show the coaching staff enough improvement to stay a Raider.

  • AnthonyMills

    I totaly agree which qb can read defenses and have an legitimately presence in the pocket along with winning record and qb rating sorry if I came off as an asshole ;-).

  • Shane Schilperoort

    No worries, I appreciate all the feedback. I’m not perfect and I’m not an expert. I’m just a fan who has an opinion that I offer to this site. However, I do know what a good or great QB looks like, and I want to see a good or great one come back to Oakland. We need a QB to step up. I hope one of the four does this, as all of Raider Nation hopes for this to happen. It will happen. Hopefully this year.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Hopefully the line will improve. Tony Sparano is one heck of a coach who will whip this line back into shape. We added some good pieces in the off-season to compete on the o-line, so I think we are on the right track. We are good at left tackle and center. Khalif Barnes is showing improvement at right tackle. Menelik Watson hasn’t practiced yet, and this was Barnes biggest competition at that position. Hopefully Watson can get into practice and develop fast. As far as left and right guard goes, Tony Bergstrom is doing well at the left guard position and Mike Brisiel is still coming off knee injury/surgery. Alex Parsons and Lucas Nix are competing for the guard position, and Andre Gurode was brought in for depth at the center position as well as to compete for a guard spot. Gurode has been a Pro-Bowl caliber guard, and it would be great if he could return to that level of play. I believe that this o-line will be improved and allow less sacks this year. It’s running a power scheme which will greatly improve our running game. All in all, I like what I see here.