It’s been 20 months since the former Ohio State star was destroying Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl, and his highly anticipated debut was supposed to be must-see TV for Oakland Raiders fans looking for a glimpse into the future.
Pryor fell flat on his face Monday night.
He finally saw the field in the second half of the Raiders' 3-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, and he looked like a chicken with his head cut off. Pryor was scrambling on almost every single dropback, and would run five to 10 yards behind the line to avoid the rush like he was in a Madden video game.
While his stat line didn’t look awful (8-of-15 for 50 yards, one interception, six carries for 21 yards), it was clear he looked overmatched in virtually every conceivable way. Twitter absolutely destroyed him, and with good reason. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller summed up his night without sugarcoating it:
I try to be analytical and break down players, but Pryor's reads, throws, presence are all bad. And this is after a year of practice— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) August 14, 2012
He was confused on his reads, didn’t show any sort of decisiveness and seemed overwhelmed by everything going on around him.
He was in for one play last season, and it ended up being an illegal procedure penalty that was his fault. The 23-year-old is still an infant in his NFL career, but he has gotten off to an incredibly rocky start.
Carson Palmer has nobody pushing him for the starting position, and ditto for Matt Leinart and the backup spot. If Pryor continues to perform this poorly against third-team defenses for the rest of the preseason, the Raiders have to consider other options for the third-string quarterback.
Just because you are 6'4" and 233 pounds doesn’t mean you’re a shoo-in for success. Pryor has time to develop, but after almost a full year of learning and practicing, looking incredibly lost against third team defenses is not exactly what I would call progress.
The Raiders should be more aware than almost every other NFL team that being athletic and having an ideal frame for the NFL doesn’t guarantee success.
It guarantees failed expectations. Pryor is not off to a good start in changing this belief.
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