It was all laid out for Terrelle Pryor on Thursday night.
The third-year player still might end up being the Raiders’ starting quarterback in Week 1 at Indianapolis. But Pryor didn’t make Dennis Allen’s decision easy. The coach wanted to be convinced Thursday night. All Pryor did was convince the Raiders’ coaching staff that he is still very much a work in progress.
If Pryor gets the starting job over Matt Flynn, it will be on-the-job training in the regular season. But so what. Last week, I wrote that Pryor needed to be given the job. I still think so even after he was not very good against the Seahawks.
The reason is, I think Pryor has more potential than Flynn. Flynn is a backup. If he starts, he will just be warming the starting job for someone else come next year. Perhaps Pryor would be doing the same thing. But at least he has a chance to someday grow into the job.
Basically, whether it’s Flynn or Pryor quarterbacking this rebuilding roster, it’s likely going to be tough sledding in Oakland in 2013. But what if the light comes on for Pryor? Oakland needs to figure out if it has something in the third-year quarterback. If not, the Raiders can go get their starter in a strong 2014 draft class.
I am not surprised Pryor didn’t nail down the job Thursday. He’s as green as the Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day. He looked lost at times in a game in which he faced mostly Seattle’s backups. He was just 3 of 8 passing and had a dreadful 9.9 passer rating.
At his best, Pryor is a runner; he had 48 yards on three carries. He can make things happen with his legs.
Of course, against first-team NFL defenders and against NFL defensive coordinators who have all week to plan against him, Pryor’s chances to run wild will be neutralized because of his inconsistency as a passer. We saw that Thursday night.
What Thursday night showed us was that Pryor is incapable of nailing down a starting gig. But in Oakland, it might not matter. He still is the right choice.