We continue with our 2013 season player evaluations with one of the most polarizing player on the roster: Terrelle Pryor.
Knock him all you want, but one of the main reason the Raiders jumped to a 3-4 start to the season is because of this guy. He took the league by storm nearly upsetting the Colts in a week 1 loss that was pinned solely on Seabass and his ineptitude at making field goals this season and by beating a playoff team in the Chargers.
The problem is that this new Raiders team and organization is not one Pryor is going to flourish in, as Dennis Allen wants a prototypical pocket passer at the helm of his offense. Coach also said he thought about pulling Pryor during Sunday’s season-ending loss to the Broncos.
This speaks volumes about Allen’s thoughts on Pryor, because not only did he stunt his growth early on in the season, but to pull him out of a meaningless game early when the sole reason you started him was to see if he could still be the player he was early in the season tells everyone that you have no confidence in him.
But if Dennis Allen wants a pocket passer as his QB, you can’t be mad at him, it is his team after all, he deserves to build it the way he wants to.
While we know that Terrelle Pryor is not the quarterback of the future for our team, there is no argument that he improved leaps and bounds from last year, at least until he injured himself and was benched the rest of the season.
Early on in the season, TP2 as we knew him by, was proving to be a very capable passer in this league while adding the threat of his legs to make for an explosive combo. Pryor in his first four games completed 68% of his passes, threw for twice as many touchdowns as interceptions and also ran for 229 yards.
Pryor just dumped it off many of the times for short yardage and easy completions you say? Actually, in that span, his average pass went for 8.1 yards. Not throwing as often per game? Well actually he was averaging 28 pass attempts per game, which is right around the average of similar dual-threat quarterbacks, Russel Wilson and Colin Kaepernick.
One of the most underrated aspects of his game was the opening up of the run game, which not only helped bolster the rushing yards, but more importantly, which made offensive drives take longer and kept the defense off the field. When a defense with depth issues like ours, keeping them rested for as long as possible is huge, and after Pryor was benched, the defense started to regress a lot, with Matt McGloin’s quick drive being a factor.
His ability to escape the rush and elude defenders in the backfield was second to none, which was a big part of why Allen chose to start him week 1, with the offensive line banged up and all.
This proved to be Pryor’s downfall, as he was hesitant to use his legs as often as he could have, preferring to try and make plays with his arm to prove to the coaches, and maybe the entire league, that he isn’t a running back who can throw, but a quarterback who can rip up defenses with his legs as well as his arms.
Terrelle Pryor has all the talent talent in the world, and I think it would be unwise for the Raiders to give up on someone with as much potential as him. It would be a complete waste to cut him this year or have him sit third string again without a real chance of starting. He has the best work ethic a team could ask for, the team has his back and he is as determined as any player in the league.
While we know that he wants to be a quarterback in this league, if he would stay on the Raiders and change his position to say, tight end, then we could utilize his talent even more, although that is highly unlikely.
It’s sad to see his promising start to the season come to halt because of injuries and I’d like to see what he could do with a healthy OL, but I guess we are just gonna have to see what happens come the offseason.