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The Oakland Raiders have gotten off to another abysmal start. The Raiders are 2-4 going into a bye week this week. The season however is showing signs of potential. The defense put together by Reggie McKenzie has proven itself to be one of the top defenses in the league keeping the Raiders in virtually all of their games this season (with the exception of the Denver game). There has been one other major reason that the Raiders have been competitive: their young quarterback, Terrelle Pryor, is a “stud.”
Pryor was given the starting job as the Raiders quarterback after bad performances by expected starter Matt Flynn. Pryor has the ability to move inside the pocket and avoid trouble. That basically sealed the starting job for him since he has a horrendous O-Line. Pryor looks like he came out of nowhere especially considering where he was last year. He improvement has all to do with his work ethic and the expectations he knew he would have to live up to.
Pryor was the last draft pick ever made by the late great Al Davis. Davis took him in the third round of the supplemental draft knowing well the trouble Pryor had been in while in college. Davis knew Pryor was athletic and had great potential, something no one else could see. Davis would pass away two months later, never getting to meet his final draft pick face-to-face. Greg Papa, longtime voice of the Raiders and close friend to Al Davis, said Pryor has the best work ethic he has ever seen by a player in the NFL. Pryor even went out in the off season and hired a personal quarterbacks coach. In fact, he hired the same coach that helped Tim Tebow take the Denver Broncos to the playoffs. Yes, we all know what happened to Tebow. He has no job and spends his time in Hawaii, but the fact remains he led a team to the playoffs. Pryor, however, is confident he will be different. During the off season, Tebow reverted back to his old throwing habits negating all the good he had done with his coach. Pryor says he will work hard to make sure that doesn’t happen to him.
Head coach Dennis Allen was asked in a recent press conference if Pryor was the future of the franchise. Last year there was an overwhelming feeling by McKenzie and Allen that they did not like Pryor, he was even considered to be in danger of not making the roster by many analysts. In this press conference, however, Allen said that Pryor was the future of the Raiders and the franchise quarterback they had been looking for.
Pryor still has room for improvement. He often holds on to the ball too long and throws balls across his body to extremely dangerous parts of the field. Allen has also pointed out that Pryor tries to make big plays when he should tuck the ball and run for the first down. So his decision making is definitely something to improve on.
Pryor has the potential and the drive to be the starting quarterback for the Raiders for a long time. Next season when McKenzie has over $70 million in cap space, he can build a team that will play on Pryor’s strengths and give him the best chance of winning. Al Davis’ vision of Terrelle Pryor as the starting quarterback may finally be coming true.