First and foremost, let’s forego the discussion that the Oakland Raiders, or more specifically Head Coach Dennis Allen, set quarterback Terrelle Pryor up for failure. Why forego it you ask, because he was the starting quarterback at the beginning of the 2013 NFL season for the Raiders. He beat out Matt Flynn, Matt McGloin, and Tyler Wilson (Two of these were backups at best, and one was on the practice squad). So, he was the best option on the Raiders roster at the start of 2013. He was given his shot, and Pryor didn’t produce.
I’m not saying that Pryor isn’t a dynamic player, but he didn’t do enough to show the coaching staff that he warranted another shot at the starting position. Here are the numbers; Pryor played in 11 games in 2013 and he threw for 1,798 yards, 7 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and he had a completion percentage of 54.7%. Yes, he rushed for 576 yards and 2 touchdowns, but that’s still only a total of 2,374 yards. Is this a viable option at quarterback? Are we, Raiders fans, allowing ourselves to be blinded by Pryor’s dynamic playability?
Some people say that numbers don’t lie. If that’s the case, Matt McGloin had better numbers. McGloin played in 7 games and he threw for 1,547 yards, 8 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, and a completion percentage of 55.9%. Still, McGloin isn’t the answer either.
I’ve watched a lot of tape on Pryor lately, and there were two consistent problems that I saw. Pryor’s footwork needs a lot of work, and he has a difficult time going through his progressions. Most of the time he was completely focused on one receiver or one route. Is that the kind of quarterback Raider Nation wants? I don’t. I want a quarterback that goes through his reads and then makes a quick decision. I want a quarterback that gets the ball out of his hands once a decision is made. I want a quarterback that gives his receivers a chance to make a play. That quarterback is not Pryor.
Some would ask the Raiders to give him more time to develop. True, this is always an option. I wish Pryor would remain with the Raiders and develop behind Matt Schaub this year. Then, beat him out next year and take it over. However, Pryor wants to be the starting quarterback now. He doesn’t want to wait. Unfortunately for him, I don’t know that there is a team out there right now that will start him as is.
His best shot would be to join the Carolina Panthers and backup Cam Newton. With Newton having ankle surgery this off-season, there may be a very good opportunity for Pryor to get some more playing time. Another option for Pryor would be to join the Washington Redskins and play behind Robert Griffin III. RGIII has had the lingering knee issue, and he is one hit away from being out for the season again. Either way, both offenses are set up for Pryor’s unique talents. It’s just not going to happen in Oakland.
With the entire roster seemingly being turned over this year, it only seems fair to cut ties with Terrelle Pryor and allow him to seek employment elsewhere. I wish Pryor the best, and I hope that he doesn’t suffer the same fate as Tim Tebow.