Terrelle Pryor has been arguably the most popular Oakland Raider in the 2013 season as despite being demoted to backup after an MCL injury and the emergence of promising rookie gunslinger Matt McGloin, Pryor has still remained on of the Raider Nation’s most beloved players on the current roster.
So when Pryor was named Week 17 starter there was no surprise that there were a lot of excited fans, and a fair bit of drama that has been following the quarterback position ever since Pryor won the QB job during preseason from Matt Flynn. Comments from Pryor’s agent criticizing Dennis Allen may have grabbed some of the headlines and turned them into a negative narrative, but Pryor insisted when speaking to the media prior to Christmas that he has been focused on one thing since losing his starting role: getting better.
“Like I told you guys about a week ago, I’ve just been going in every day trying to get better, finding ways to get better [and] whatever happens, happens,” Pryor said. “That type of deal can kind of mess with you. You keep on thinking, ‘What if this happens?’
Dennis Allen has insisted that Pryor will be in the game Sunday because he is the guy who gives the Raiders the best chance to win. Still there is doubt after McGloin ran with the job down the stretch and moved the ball downfield efficiently that Allen was truly going with Pryor for winning reasons, but Pryor does hold the advantage of playing the Broncos before. In that game he was knocked out in the late stages with a concussion suffered on a hit from Wesley Woodyard, but he says that the Broncos are still the same team from all the way back in the fall and believes if the Raiders can play perfect they can challenge Denver.
“We just have to have a total team game, and offensively we have to be very sharp. That starts with me getting in and out of the huddle and commanding and getting the guys in the spots they’ve got to be in and throwing the ball with accuracy. So that starts with me, and the rest is just going to be us. We have to do this together.”
“Von Miller is out [and] he didn’t play the first game,” Pryor said. “I believe Champ [Bailey] is going in and out of the slot and nickel package. We just have to play a perfect game. We’ve got to move the ball. Time of possession is going to be huge — not turn the ball over.
“We’re playing against the best quarterback in the league, in league history almost, I’m pretty sure. So we’ve just got to control the ball and take advantage.”
Pryor has had an up and down season, but last year he exploded into the attention of Raider fans with an impressive showing in Week 17 in Carson Palmer’s absence against the Chargers, if Pryor can replicate that performance 2013 might end with a silver lining for the Raiders fan favorite.