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Thursday, March 7, 2013
Updated: March 8, 1:20 PM ET
Terrelle Pryor trying to win over team

ESPN.com news services

Terrelle Pryor said Wednesday he will be "more than ready" to compete for the Oakland Raiders' starting quarterback job when the time comes, but first he's trying to win over the organization and prove he can lead the team.

"Right now I'm trying to win over my coaches, win over my teammates and everybody in the facility and let them know that I wanna be a leader, a great leader, and I'm there for the long haul, and I wanna win just as bad as everybody else. And that's what I want to prove to everybody before I really get into talks of starting and stuff like that," he told the NBC Sports Network on Wednesday.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has said that Pryor would get a chance to compete for the starting job with Carson Palmer, who sources told ESPN will be asked to restructure his contract. The Raiders are scheduled to pay the 33-year-old Palmer $13 million this season.

When asked whether he was a better quarterback than Palmer, Pryor, who will turn 24 in June, showed respect to the veteran.

"I don't really wanna give comparisons or anything like that because Carson does a great job of what he does, and I can also play, too, and do some things well, too," Pryor said in the interview. "So I can't down talk him because he's a great quarterback to me, and I just wanna stay on my side of seeing what I have to do to get better every single day, and that's where I'm at right now."

He said he has hired three quarterback coaches -- Craig Austin, George Whitfield and Steve Clarkson -- specifically to help him improve his balance when he drops back to throw.

He said Austin also has given him good advice about leadership.

"He always tell me that hard times bring out leadership and leaders, and leaders overcome everything," Pryor said in the interview. "I truly believe that I've been through hard things, things that have made me want to cry, things that make you want to quit as a person, quit as a football player, as a quarterback, things that will crush other people's belief in themselves."

He discussed the deaths of his father, Craig, and mentor, Theodore Sarniak III, last July as some of the hardships he has had to overcome. 

Pryor got onto the field for a few plays late last season before finally getting the chance to start in the final game at San Diego with Palmer sidelined by cracked ribs and a bruised lung.

Pryor went 13-for-28 for 150 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a 24-21 loss to the Chargers. He also ran for 49 yards and a score and looked more than capable of running the offense.

New Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson said last month it will be important to see what Pryor can do for Oakland during offseason workouts and minicamps to get a better sense of what the team has at quarterback.

Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press was used in this report.