NFL Nation: Terrelle Pryor

So, you already knew that the recently acquired Matt Schaub was earmarked to be the Oakland Raiders' starting quarterback this season. And while neither Terrelle Pryor nor his fans should be happy about that development, what coach Dennis Allen told reporters Tuesday will perk up more than a few ears.

Schaub
Schaub
"We have a quarterback now," Allen said at the NFL owners meetings, per the Bay Area News Group, "that's on par with the quarterbacks in the division."

Got it?

Shaub = Kansas City's Alex Smith. Sure.

Shaub = San Diego's Philip Rivers. Meh.

Shaub = Denver's Peyton Manning. Um ...

If nothing else, Allen is a glass-half-full kind of guy. He has to be. After consecutive 4-12 seasons in which his teams folded spectacularly down the stretch both times, Allen knows this is a make-or-break type of year in which the Raiders need to show improvement.

And for the purposes of this discussion, it all begins under center ... with a new quarterback who is a two-time Pro Bowler coming off a nightmarish season. So what kind of quarterback does Allen prefer, exactly?

"Guys that can move the team down the field, guys who can put points on the board," Allen said. "I think there's certain qualities you look at in the quarterbacks that have been able to be successful over the years. I'm talking about guys like Drew Brees, who I was with [in New Orleans]. I'm talking about guys like Peyton Manning. I'm talking about guys like Tom Brady. Guys [whose] work ethic is unmatched; they're the first ones in the building, they're the last one to leave.

"They have the ability to process information quickly and they can throw the ball with timing and accuracy. And those are the things you have to be able to do to play the quarterback position."

And water is wet.

Of course, that's the goal of every team -- to find a franchise quarterback. It's been a tortuous journey for the Raiders the past three years as they've used first- and second-round picks (Carson Palmer), a third-round supplemental pick (Pryor), a fourth-round pick (Tyler Wilson) a fifth-round pick (Matt Flynn) and now a sixth-rounder (Schaub) in their search for a savior.

The new regime of Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie is responsible for the last three on the list.

"It's pretty obvious that we feel good about Matt Schaub as our starting quarterback," Allen said. "We feel comfortable with Matt McGloin as a back up. But we'll see what happens in the next few days, next couple weeks.

"Everybody has down seasons. Everybody has down years. It's not a shame to get knocked down; it's a shame to not get back up. [Schaub] is a guy that's been a two-time Pro Bowl player, he's been a top 10 quarterback in the National Football League over the last five years and we believe, and he believes, that he's still that. And I don't think that changes overnight, I really don't."

Schaub had a career-worst total quarterback rating of 43.65 last season, losing his starting job midway through the season and throwing 14 interceptions, including a stretch of four straight games with a pick-6, with 10 touchdowns and a 61.1 completion percentage rate.

"Do I think he's going to have a little bit of a chip on his shoulder? Yeah, I really do," Allen said. "I think there's going to be a little bit of added incentive for him to kind of prove what he can do? Yeah, I think there will be, and I think that's a good thing."
OK, this is what I don’t want to hear: Matt Schaub is going to be the next Rich Gannon.

Yeah, yeah, we know the tale: Older guy comes to Oakland with his career on life support. He revitalizes it, along with the entire franchise, goes on to win an MVP and takes Raider Nation to the Super Bowl. It’s an awesome story, and that’s why it doesn’t happen very often.

Vick
Vick
Schaub
Schaub
Instead, what Schaub is likely to become is the next Jason Campbell, Carson Palmer or Matt Flynn. Another so-so, more-problems-than-qualities quarterback who the Raiders traded for in a desperate attempt to find that Gannon magic.

When is this going to end?

Hey Oakland, another Gannon is not walking through those doors. Stop thinking he will in the form of another beat-down old dude.

Schaub was a shell of himself last season in Houston. Why would Oakland, which is trying to build an offense and is far from a ready product, think it can fix him at the age of 32?

If the Raiders were fixated on continuing to get older all over the field -- a weird approach with a team with a ton of salary-cap room that hasn’t had a winning record since George W. Bush’s first administration -- I guess an argument could be made for Michael Vick. He’d be completely free (I know Schaub cost just a late-round pick, but the Raiders need the chance to develop every kid they can get their hands on) and Vick has some ability to make plays happen.

Schaub is a less-talented Palmer. He will occasionally tease, but is more likely to throw a pick-six than a touchdown.

I really hope the Raiders don’t think this is the guy who is going to lead them back to the playoffs. All he is going to do it get cut in a couple of years, and then the Raiders will have to start over. Again.

I’d give the the Raiders props if they took a chance on Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater or Blake Bortles. The only way this woebegone franchise is going to be relevant again is if it finds the right young quarterback. Yes, maybe the Raiders will draft one of those youngsters and Schaub will be the backup. But I’m not sure this trade was made for Schaub to be the backup.

Oh, and this deal, also tells you what the Raiders think of Terrelle Pryor. Yep, he’s not the answer. Still, the ultimate question in Oakland after this trade: Who is the answer at quarterback?

It wasn’t solved Friday morning. Matt Schaub is not Rich Gannon.

Offseason Blueprint: Raiders

March, 4, 2014
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Looking for a blueprint for the Raiders’ offseason as they try to turn the corner after consecutive 4-12 seasons under general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen?

Our ESPN.com NFL Insiders have you covered Insider. With more than $60 million in salary cap space, to 18 scheduled unrestricted free agents, the Raiders have more than a few franchise-altering decisions to make. From finding a franchise quarterback (neither Terrelle Pryor nor Matt McGloin seem to be the answer) to looking at a potential starting lineup (is Mychal Rivera the truth at tight end?) to who the Raiders should target in free agency (Jared Allen, anyone?) to what they should do with the No. 5 overall pick (QB or DE, DE or QB?) to McKenzie’s top picks from a year ago needing to step up (are you listening, D.J. Hayden and Menelik Watson?). It’s all here.
Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen was asked Thursday at the NFL combine in Indianapolis if his 2014 starting quarterback was already on Oakland’s roster.

Manziel
Keep in mind, the Raiders currently have Terrelle Pryor, who started nine games last season, Matt McGloin, who started six, and veteran Trent Edwards, who last started an NFL game in 2010, under contract.

Allen’s response? “I don’t know the answer to that yet, you know what I mean? I think that’s obviously a position we’re going to look at to try to improve as well as any other position. But that’s obviously a position we have to [evaluate].

“The quarterback position is the backbone of your football team, and so we have to make sure that when we go out there this year that we’ve put ourselves in the best position to have success with the quarterback position.”

Then after reading between the lines and going over the silver and black tea leaves, the answer would be … no.

Which of course, brings us to this year’s crop of quarterbacks. You’ve got the big guns in Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater and Central Florida’s Blake Bortles, the intriguing guys in Fresno State’s Derek Carr and Alabama’s AJ McCarron and, of course, the biggest and most intriguing figure of all in the polarizing Johnny Manziel, by way of Texas A&M.

Now, the fact that Allen is a Texas A&M alum should give the Raiders a leg up in scouting Manziel to see if he’s worth the hype, let alone the No. 5 overall pick, right?

Yes, Allen was asked about his fellow Aggie.

“Obviously, he’s accomplished a lot at the collegiate level and has been a very good football player, being the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy,” Allen said. “I think that speaks in and of itself about how good a football player he is, so I think he’s a very talented football player. I think he is a multi-dimensional football player. I think he’s able to throw the ball. I think he’s able to throw the ball from the pocket, but he’s also able to create things with his feet.

“As we get more into the evaluation process, I think he’ll be a fun guy to really evaluate.”

Raiders Twitter mailbag

February, 8, 2014
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The Super Bowl is done so the season is officially over. Let's get our Twitter mailbag going ...

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders traded away Carson Palmer after a 4,018-yard passing season in 2012 ... and he threw for a career-high 4,274 yards with the Arizona Cardinals in 2013.

The Raiders traded for Matt Flynn in hopes he would become a franchise quarterback ... and he washed out and was cut in October, after one start.

Oakland used a fourth-round draft pick to select Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson ... only to waive him twice, sign him to the practice squad twice and watch him leave when the Tennessee Titans picked him up.

[+] EnlargeOakland's Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor
AP Photo/Tony AvelarNeither Oakland coach Dennis Allen nor GM Reggie McKenzie is sure if the Raiders' QB of the future is on the roster.
With so much QB carnage in such a short amount of time, is general manager Reggie McKenzie confident in his staff's ability to identify and properly scout a quarterback?

"Yes I am," McKenzie said Thursday in a 45-minute sit down with six reporters who cover the team regularly.

The differing skill sets of Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin essentially split the season, and in his final media conference of the season coach Dennis Allen said he was not sure if the quarterback of the future was in the building.

I asked McKenzie if he shared Allen's view and, if so, how he attacks that shortcoming.

McKenzie nodded.

"I'm not sure either," he said. "We've got two young players who played this year (and) from an experience standpoint there wasn't any, so neither one of them stepped up and said, ‘I'm the franchise quarterback.' So absolutely, we're going to always continue to upgrade and find that guy. Now how we find them, we'll figure that out in the next few months, to what's available to us."

McKenzie allowed that with so much youth and inexperience under center last season, the Raiders need a veteran presence. And, perhaps, that is why they recently signed Trent Edwards to a reserve/future contract.

"He's a senior guy that's been there, done that," McKenzie said. "You're talking about what we have in place now, even around the building here in the next month or so, you've got a guy that our young guys can bounce stuff off of. And starting that process ASAP, I think, is important for the young guys."

That does not mean, however, that the Raiders are done tinkering with the position. Far from it. Not when the Raiders still have the No. 5 overall pick in May's draft.

Yes, McKenzie was asked about Texas A&M's polarizing Johnny Manziel.

"He's a playmaker," McKenzie said with a smile. "Whether it's him or whether it's any one of these other guys, when you can add a playmaker to your team that's what you're shooting for. Be it the draft, be it (a) free agent. It doesn't matter. And Johnny is a playmaker."

Still, McKenzie said he'd be reluctant to start a rookie quarterback again and would rather build the team up around one until he was ready to play.

"You have to make sure you surround those young players like that with good football players, whether it's weapons, protection from an offensive line standpoint, run game," McKenzie said. "If you're going to talk about playing a rookie, I think the fair way to do it is surround him (with talent), not just ride his shoulders. It's hard. I don't care how good the rookie is.

"To make him do everything his first year is not an easy task. You'd rather not. You'd rather have a guy in place who can get you through the season, especially the early part of the season."

Hence the addition of someone like an Edwards. And McKenzie said he has no true preference for a style of quarterback, be it a runner like Pryor, who rushed for a franchise single-season record 527 yards, including a 93-yard TD run that set an NFL record, or a pocket passer like McGloin, who had a QB rating of 76.1.

Still, neither Pryor, who started nine games and threw for 1,7,98 yards on 57.4 percent passing with 7 TDs and 11 INTs, nor McGloin, who was 1-5 as the starter, truly commandeering the job last season left room for introspection.

"With Terrelle I thought he started out pretty good," McKenzie said. "But it was the inconsistency and making the decisions, whether to throw, whether to run, avoid (the pass rush) and get rid of the ball. Whatever it is, that needs to continue to improve and he was too inconsistent there.

"Terrelle's got a ways to go with the decision making and the timing of throwing (to) guys (who are) open in that regard."

And McGloin, who completed 55.9 percent of his passes for 1,547 yards with 8 touchdowns and 8 interceptions in seven games?

"I thought he came in and I thought he did a pretty good job for what he was asked to do," McKenzie said. "He was confident in where he could throw the ball, his timing, his decision-making. Kind of sputtered a little bit, trying to throw the football when he shouldn't have.

"I thought McGloin showed some positive things that looked like a real quarterback from a standpoint of getting the ball out of his hands and, not being the greatest of mobile, moving, running guys, he didn't take a lot of sacks. So ... to be looked at as one of the non-athletic quarterbacks, per se, he did a good job of getting the ball out of his hand and not putting us in a negative yard-situation. So, you like some of the things there. If you can build on it and get better with the throws and the timing and all that, he should be solid."

Vick presents conundrum for Eagles

January, 13, 2014
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PHILADELPHIA -- The Michael Vick situation provides a conundrum for the Philadelphia Eagles, bringing a couple of coach Chip Kelly’s priorities into conflict.

All season, Kelly talked about the importance of having two quarterbacks capable of winning NFL games on the roster. The Eagles were living proof of the value of having Vick and Nick Foles. The Green Bay Packers, meanwhile, were an object lesson in what happens when your depth chart drops from Aaron Rodgers to Seneca Wallace.

Vick
Vick
“I think you can never have enough quarterbacks,” Kelly said. “I've said that no matter where I was. In this league, we were fortunate that we had two this year, and that was a huge benefit to us that we had two, and we'll continue to always look at quarterbacks, and I think anybody that's any good in this league always does that.”

Vick will be a free agent on March 11 and says he wants to go somewhere he can be a starter. And while he has said he would be willing to return to the Eagles as a backup “if all else fails,” there is a very real possibility the Eagles won’t be interested.

That’s because, for all the praise Kelly heaped on Vick for handling his in-season demotion, the coach also had good things to say about rookie Matt Barkley.

“Matt was awesome,” Kelly said. “I'm excited to get a full offseason with Matt in here to really get a chance to work with him, because I think he's got a skill set that's exciting when you see him, how the ball comes out of his hands, the decisions that he makes, and that's part of this whole deal.”

Barkley
Kelly wanted Barkley enough for the Eagles to trade up a couple spots in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. Quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor spent hours of extra time working with Barkley. He saw action in three games, but was thrown into some pretty unfortunate situations.

The guess here is that Barkley is tagged to be the No. 2 quarterback behind Foles. His style is closer to Foles’ than Vick’s is, which theoretically makes for a smoother transition if he has to play. It also wouldn’t shock me if the Eagles draft a quarterback again this year, maybe even higher than they took Barkley.

As for Vick, he is probably the best of a mediocre batch of free-agent quarterbacks this year. He will be 34, but still has a couple years left in him.

Some possible fits:

• Oakland, where coach Dennis Allen is going to be feeling some heat. Vick could be a good option to Terrelle Pryor as the younger quarterback gets up to speed.

• The New York Jets, where there will be intense pressure on head coach Rex Ryan in 2014, and where the offensive coordinator is former Eagles assistant Marty Mornhinweg. If the Jets stick with the combination of Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez for another year, chances are they’ll be looking for a new head coach in 2015.

• Jacksonville, where the Jaguars slid from the No. 1 overall pick to No. 3 by winning a few late-season games. If they aren’t in love with the quarterbacks available, or if they need a veteran to serve as a bridge to the rookie, Vick could be a fit.

• Cleveland is interesting. It’s hard to say whether the presence of former Eagles president Joe Banner would be good or bad for Vick in Cleveland.

• Tampa Bay, which has a lot to like in Mike Glennon. But new coach Lovie Smith may want real competition for the starting job in training camp, and Vick just proved himself a solid locker room citizen through one of those.

• Buffalo is similar to Tampa Bay. E.J. Manuel is going to get every chance to be the quarterback, but coach Doug Marrone may want a veteran to compete, and Kevin Kolb’s status may force the Bills to bring someone in.

• Kansas City. OK, OK, Andy Reid just had a very good year with Alex Smith. But Reid has fallen hard for Vick and scuttled his quarterback plans before. A long shot, yes, but there’s a sliver of a chance.
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ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders need a quarterback, a certifiable quarterback of the future, as they say.

No disrespect to the Terrelle Pryor disciples or the Matt McGloin acolytes, but even coach Dennis Allen said he was not sure if said franchise QB was “in the building right now.”

And with Allen now assured of returning to Oakland for his third season, might he look to his alma mater for salvation in the form of a polarizing figure known simply as Johnny Football?

Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, as maddening as he is talented, has officially declared for the NFL draft, and the Raiders hold the No. 5 overall pick. And with Allen’s connections to College Station running deep, the Raiders probably have an upper hand in scouting the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. Which means the Raiders either making a run at Manziel or steering clear of him will say all you need to know about an Oakland background check.

Look, the 2014 win-now season in Oakland promises to be a fascinating study in survival. The Raiders have $60-plus million in salary-cap room to chase free agents, a full complement of draft choices to re-stock the roster, the assistants on Allen’s staff possibly on one-year contracts, with Allen most likely on a very short leash, and the pressure on general manager Reggie McKenzie to deliver a solid roster.

So what would Manziel, who had his share of off-the-field issues in college, add to the Raiders’ potentially volatile mix, besides his own brand of drama?

In two years at Texas A&M, he threw for a combined 7,820 yards and 63 touchdowns and rushed for 2,169 yards and 30 TDs and was the first freshman to win the Heisman, when he set the Southeastern Conference total offense record with 5,116 yards.

And this past season, he established a new Aggies single-season mark with 4,114 passing yards, falling just 11 yards short of becoming the first sophomore on any college campus to have 10,000 career yards.

Still, generously listed at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, he’s a bit small to play the brand of reckless abandon football in the NFL he excelled at in college.

“He possesses unique improvisational skills (his closest resemblance in that regard, at least in my lifetime, is to Doug Flutie) and has the quickness, speed and instincts as a runner/scrambler that make him a nightmare to bring down, both in the pocket and in the open field when he takes off,” wrote ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay, who had Manziel going to the Cleveland Browns at No. 4 in a recent mock draft.

McShay also had Manziel as his third-rated college QB, behind Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater and Central Florida’s Blake Bortles.

“Manziel has also shown significant improvement as a passer this season, displaying more of a comfort level when throwing from the pocket, improved arm strength as a result of better mechanics and more consistency with his ball placement and accuracy,” McShay added. “Also, it's worth noting that despite all the comments about his character and leadership ability ... it really does seem as though his teammates feed off the passion and energy with which he plays.”

Should the Raiders, then, go all in with Manziel, if he’s still on the board at No. 5, or should they sign a veteran quarterback, other than recently inked Trent Edwards, and build the rest of the team first?

Raiders sign QB Trent Edwards

January, 2, 2014
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ALAMEDA, Calif. – Back when the Oakland Raiders held the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2007, one of then-coach Lane Kiffin’s plans was to use it on some receiver coming out of Georgia Tech, kid by the name of Calvin Johnson, and then use a second- or third-round pick on a quarterback from down the road in Stanford’s Trent Edwards.

Kiffin was also intrigued by Brady Quinn, but that’s another story.

Instead, the Raiders went with the consensus No. 1 pick in LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell, and the franchise has been trying to recover ever since. In fact, current coach Dennis Allen said himself this week that the Raiders’ QB of the future was probably not in the building, and you could hear the moans emanating from Terrelle Pryor fans and Matt McGloin supporters.

So it is with some intrigue, then, that Edwards was signed by the Raiders Thursday to a Reserve/Future contract, especially since one perceived plan for Oakland, which holds the No. 5 pick for May’s draft, is to acquire a veteran QB and build around him as a bridge to said QB of the Future.

Edwards, who was a third-round pick (No. 92 overall) of the Buffalo Bills in 2007 and also played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, was in camp with the Raiders in 2011, but then-coach Hue Jackson went with Kyle Boller as Jason Campbell’s backup at the time. Edwards resurfaced with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012.

He also had a workout with the Raiders this season, along with Pat White and David Carr.

Edwards has appeared in 38 NFL games in his career, starting 33, and has passed for 6,033 yards on 60.6 percent passing (563-of-929) with 26 touchdowns and 30 interceptions.

In 2008, he had a 2,699-yard passing season, with 11 TDs and a QB rating of 85.4.

Edwards was one of three to sign such contracts Thursday, along with defensive tackles David Carter and Torell Troup. Earlier in the week, the Raiders announced six Reserve/Future signings, all of whom finished the 2013 season on the Raiders’ practice squad: cornerback Johnny Adams, offensive lineman Jack Cornell, receiver Jared Green, linebacker Eric Harper, tight end Brian Leonhardt and defensive end Chris McCoy.

Oakland Raiders season wrap-up

January, 2, 2014
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Arrow indicates direction team is trending.

Final Power Ranking: 30
Preseason Power Ranking: 29

Biggest surprise: Now, no one is suggesting that Matt McGloin is the Raiders’ quarterback of the future, but the undrafted rookie who initially joined Oakland as a fourth-stringer and training camp arm did acquit himself well in starting six games and appearing in relief in another. So much so that coach Dennis Allen said McGloin has a future in Oakland, even if it’s not as the heretofore mentioned QB of the future. What the Raiders may have lost in athleticism when McGloin replaced Terrelle Pryor was gained in pocket presence. McGloin’s skill set simply fit the type of offense the Raiders wanted to run this season.

Biggest disappointment: It seems harsh to pinpoint a rookie who nearly died the previous time he stepped on a football field, but that’s the bull’s-eye the Raiders placed on cornerback D.J. Hayden when they selected him 12th overall -- and said they would have used the No. 3 pick on him if they were unable to trade down -- despite his heart issues. Hayden was playing catch-up from Day 1 and seemed overmatched by the speed of the game at times. A groin injury ended his season after just eight games and one interception. Only because expectations are so high for an early first-rounder does Hayden surpass oft-injured running back Darren McFadden in this category.

Biggest need: Let’s start with the obvious and continue down the list: a franchise quarterback, or at least, a vet who can bridge the gap to said franchise QB. Neither Pryor nor McGloin is that guy. And while defensive end Lamarr Houston did an admirable job switching from the left side to the right and had a team-high six sacks, the Raiders also need a pure beast of a speed rusher. The Raiders could also use a playmaking wide receiver, because while Rod Streater and Andre Holmes flashed as possession pass catchers, they are not your prototypical playmakers, either. An offensive lineman would do as well. Maybe even a center, that way Stefen Wisniewski could move back to left guard. Of course, the biggest O-line need is to re-sign left tackle Jared Veldheer.

Team MVP: When Rashad Jennings signed as McFadden’s backup, you knew Jennings simply had to bide his time before McFadden went down to injury. He did, and Jennings made the most of his opportunity, leading the Raiders with 733 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns, including an 80-yard TD scamper on a direct snap at Houston, and averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Jennings also caught a career-high 36 passes for 292 yards and blocked a punt. Perhaps most impressive: He never fumbled the ball and his 2.2 yards per carry after first contact ranked second in the NFL. Jennings, who will be an unrestricted free agent, missed one game in tying a career high with 15 games played, starting eight.

 
A weekly examination of the Raiders’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 29 | Last Week: 30 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

If you want to be true to the system, then yes, the Oakland Raiders did not live up to expectations in 2013. At least, not by our Power Rankings standards. We had the Raiders ranked 29th in the preseason; they finished 30th. Oakland, under second-year coach Dennis Allen, staggered to the finish with another 4-12 campaign, losing eight of its final nine games for the second time in as many years as well.

But as Allen was fond of saying, the Raiders’ collapse was not for lack of desire or trying. The team simply hit a wall, especially the defense, sometime during the Tennessee Titans’ 80-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown drive to beat the Raiders the weekend before Thanksgiving. So many players were logging career highs in snaps played that Oakland was in not only uncharted waters, but treacherous waters as well. And it showed in the final quarter-plus of the season, as the Raiders lost six straight.

Also made obvious was the fact that neither Terrelle Pryor nor Matt McGloin is the franchise’s quarterback of the future, though Pryor flashed early and McGloin showed a preternatural pocket presence before leveling out. Underachieved? When you think about it, the Raiders probably finished right about where they should have, considering the talent on the roster and the obstacles they faced.

Allen not sure if future QB on roster

December, 30, 2013
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ALAMEDA, Calif. -- While Dennis Allen anticipates he will return in 2014 as the Oakland Raiders coach, he is not sure about the prospects of the Raiders' quarterback position.

"Yeah, well, I think that's a position that we've got to make sure that we address," Allen said in his season-ending media conference Monday.

"I'm not sure that we have the quarterback of the future in the building right now, but again I think we'll go through the offseason evaluation process, I think we'll go back through all the tapes, we'll comb through everything. I do think we have a better idea of what we have at the quarterback position, but again I think, listen, that's the most important position on the football field."

McGloin
Pryor
Allen has already said that he believes Matt McGloin has a future with the team but has not been so outwardly encouraging about Terrelle Pryor.

McGloin finished with a passer rating of 76.1 after completing 55.9 percent of his passes (118-of-211) for 1,547 yards, eight touchdowns and eight interceptions in seven games, six starts.

Did he prove he was a capable NFL starter?

"I think so," McGloin said. "I thought I did some pretty good things out there. I also did some poor things that I need to work on and improve. That will come. I know I will get better, I'll continue to learn. I know our team will continue to improve and get better. I'm looking forward to it."

Then does he look at the Raiders as "his" team going forward?

"I think you have to look at it that way," he said. "Like I said, Terrelle and I played well at times this year and played bad at times this year. We have a very healthy relationship. He and I are always helping each other out and trying to do what's best for the team. The mindset whether it's my team or not my team, that's out of my control that decision.

"What I can do is try to improve and continue to get better as a leader and get better as a quarterback."

Pryor, who started eight of the Raiders' first nine games and then the season finale against the Denver Broncos, had a QB rating was 69.1. He completed 57.4 percent of his passes (156-272) for 1,798 yards with seven TDs and 11 INTs. Pryor also rushed for a franchise record-for-a-quarterback 576 yards, including an NFL record-for-a-quarterback 93-yard touchdown run, against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Oct. 27.

"I feel very confident," he said. "I had a lot of experiences this year. That's what it's all about, experiencing and understanding that you're going to have good experiences and bad experiences. It's what you do and how you study your craft off that, those experiences.

"That's how I'm going to look at it and that's how I'm going to work on my craft."

But if Allen is indeed retained and the Raiders have to get into the quarterback market, do they draft one early (Blake Bortles? Johnny Manziel? Derek Carr?) or do they play the free-agent market (Josh McKown? Matt Cassel? Josh Freeman? Maybe even a soon-to-be-cut Mark Sanchez?)
OAKLAND -- And now, the waiting game begins.

A second consecutive 4-12 season for coach Dennis Allen, in which the Oakland Raiders lost six straight to end the season and eight of nine overall, would have spelled doom under the late Al Davis. But with Mark Davis as a more “patient” owner, and a general manager in Reggie McKenzie who has called Allen “my guy” from Day 1, you have to wonder.

Allen
Does Allen, who was a rookie coach as Oakland began its self-described two-year “deconstruction” period in 2012, deserve a shot at returning, despite his platform of progress and discipline being shelled since Thanksgiving?

“Deserve” might be too broad a term; “fair” might be more accurate.

Davis said this week he was going to take a “wait-and-see” approach, that no decision had been made and he wanted to see how the Raiders played this weekend.

In the Silver and Black spectrum, the Raiders outscored the Denver Broncos in the second half on Sunday, 14-3.

In the Silver and Blechhh spectrum, they trailed at halftime, 31-0 (which is when Peyton Manning left the game), and fell to the AFC’s top seed, 34-14.

Allen anticipates sitting down with Davis and McKenzie in the very near future, and believes he “deserves” to return.

“Yeah, I do,” he said. “I expect to be back, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to come back. Those are decisions that somebody else is going to make, but yeah, I expect to be back.”

Asked if he considered the possibility that he was done, Allen did not flinch.

“That’s a decision that’s made over my head. I fully expect to be back. I fully believe that I deserve the opportunity to come back here and get a chance to, as we said, go through the deconstruction phase. I want to be part of the rebuilding phase.”

Said quarterback Terrelle Pryor: “Personally, I love Coach Allen. He’s a great leader. He’s a great leader. The thing I really liked about him, he didn’t change. When we started losing, he didn’t change one bit. A lot of guys crack under pressure. I think coach Allen handled himself. We look at that stuff (as players). I think he did a phenomenal job this year. I have a lot of respect for Coach Allen ... I respect coach Allen, but that’s really not my call. That’s Mr. Davis’ and Reggie’s, and really, Mr. Davis’."

Left tackle Jared Veldheer, who will be an unrestricted free agent, said he also endorsed Allen.

"One of the biggest things we need is continuity," Veldheer said. "It would be very tough to see massive turnover."

Rapid Reaction: Oakland Raiders

December, 29, 2013
12/29/13
7:32
PM ET

OAKLAND -- A few thoughts on the Oakland Raiders' 34-14 loss to the Denver Broncos.

What it means: The Raiders, for the second straight season under coach Dennis Allen, ended the year by losing eight of their final nine games. In that morass, a six-game losing streak to end the season. It was the Raiders’ most uninspired effort of the season, and they were in danger of being shut out for the first time since Oct. 23, 2011, a 28-0 drubbing by the Kansas City Chiefs in Carson Palmer’s first game with Oakland. Not a good look for a coach whose platform is built on progress and discipline. The Raiders allowed four touchdown passes by Peyton Manning (he finished the regular season with a record 55 TD passes) while also allowing him to set a new single-season record for passing yards (5,477). Plus, the Broncos, who earned home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs with the blowout victory, also established a new mark for points scored in a season (606). Manning did not play in the second half, which was won by the Raiders, 14-3.

Stock watch: Falling -- Terrelle Pryor. Rust was to be expected, what with Pryor having last started a game on Nov. 10. But his regression was shocking. He did not appear to play with much confidence, his accuracy was worse than off and, as former Raiders coach-turned-radio analyst Tom Flores said, “He looks like a quarterback that’s hesitant to throw.” Indeed, Pryor was not stepping into his throws and the ball wobbled. He finished 21-of-38 for 207 yards with touchdown passes of 14 yards and nine yards to Rod Streater and Nick Kasa, respectively -- Pryor’s first touchdown passes since Oct. 13. Pryor did, however, rush for 49 yards and set a franchise mark for rushing yards in a season by a quarterback (576 yards), eclipsing Rich Gannon’s mark of 529 yards in 2000. Pryor did play better in the second half.

A silver and black lining: It was not all bad. Oakland honored the 1983 Super Bowl champions in a halftime ceremony, giving fans a glimpse of the last Raiders team to win a Super Bowl, albeit when the franchise was located in Los Angeles. Jim Plunkett addressed the crowd, and it was truly the liveliest O.co Coliseum was all day, especially since the Raiders were trailing, 31-0, at the time.

SeaBass sleeps with the fishes?: Placekicker Sebastian Janikowski, the Raiders’ first-round draft pick in 2000 and all-time leading scorer, missed his ninth field goal of the season, more than he missed the previous two seasons combined. Radio broadcaster Greg Papa said Janikowski was nursing a sore left quad, though Janikowski was not listed on the injury report this week. “Kind of a reflection of the whole season,” Flores offered.

What's next: The Raiders (4-12) must now play the waiting game to see if head coach Dennis Allen and/or his staff are retained after a second consecutive 12-loss season, and the 11th straight year without a winning record.
ALAMEDA, Calif. – When Greg Olson was hired in January to be the Oakland Raiders' offensive coordinator, his quarterback was Carson Palmer.

Then the Raiders acquired Matt Flynn from the Seattle Seahawks and traded Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals before drafting Tyler Wilson in the fourth round. Terrelle Pryor beat out Flynn for the starting job at the end of training camp and started eight of the Raiders’ first nine games, Flynn was cut after a disastrous start against Washington when Pryor was concussed, undrafted rookie Matt McGloin replaced Pryor when he went down with a sprained right knee and now Pryor will start the season finale against the Denver Broncos.

[+] EnlargeGreg Olson
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY SportsGreg Olson has two quarterbacks in Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin with very different skill sets.
So from Olson’s perspective, just how challenging a task is it for him to put together game plans for two quarterbacks with such different skill sets as Pryor and McGloin possess?

“You knew that as you were approaching the season,” Olson said. “This is a plan: We’re going to give you kind of two different offenses per se. If you can keep the core group of players with you throughout the season, I think it’s much more manageable.

“I think schematically, although we were doing some more things with Terrelle in terms of him running the ball and running the read-arc and the arc-option things, there was a lot of it that carried over where, and I hate to get into the football aspect, but where the linemen knew that, ‘OK, on this particular play we may have to push back two defenders, but because Terelle has the option to pull it, we’re only going to push back one defender.’ There is some carryover, but I think it’s important that you have those guys, particularly the guys up front, staying consistent and having a consistent core of players up front.”

Flynn was supposed to be the franchise quarterback, but with a beat-up offensive line and Flynn’s sore arm, it was not a good fit.

“I think going into the season the position became unsettled and so we have an unsettled quarterback situation here,” Olson said. “I like to think [Pryor and McGloin] look at it as a great opportunity for ‘me’ to come in and prove that ‘I’ can play and ‘I’ can be that guy on this team.”

Olson was the Jacksonville Jaguars' quarterbacks coach in 2012, and compared the talent on their roster to what is on the Raiders’ roster. And with two young quarterbacks like Pryor and McGloin, it would be hard to expect much from them with the “talent” around them.

Still, coach Dennis Allen has already said that he thinks McGloin may have a future in Oakland. The evaluation of Pryor, meanwhile, continues this weekend.

“I think it just gives us a chance now to decide where exactly we’re at at the quarterback position, which we’ll discuss at the end of the season with management and ownership and what we feel like our needs are as a coaching staff and where we feel like these guys are at right now,” Olson said. “Right now, if we felt like either one of them was a certain number one we would be moving in that direction.

“Let’s understand that with these quarterbacks, Terrelle and Matt McGloin, they’re young quarterbacks and they can’t shoulder the load at this point. We have to make sure that there’s development there, at least, and if we feel like these are guys we can develop moving forward and maybe add some pieces to the puzzle around them, those would be the questions and the discussions that we’ll have in the offseason when this thing is all done.”

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