Terrelle Pryor Is Oakland Raiders' Best Option Despite Team's Alleged Skepticism

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2013

Aug 23, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) runs with the ball against the Chicago Bears during the third quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Chicago Bears defeated the Oakland Raiders 34-26. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Terrelle Pryor is the Oakland Raiders' starting quarterback as the team preps for its Week 1 clash with the Indianapolis Colts, but just how long Pryor will be under center is another story entirely.

Oakland has not even participated in its first game of the season and there is already a reported divide within the struggling organization over whether or not Pryor is the man for the job. 

The initial report came from Michael Silver of NFL.com, which was neatly summarized by his colleague Dan Hanzus. Silver reports that Pryor's biggest fan is owner Mark Davis, who wants him on the field.

Silver also stated that others within the organization do not want Matt Flynn, but instead want undrafted free agent Matt McGloin under center.


There are folks in Oakland that want an undrafted free agent, albeit one who beat out a fourth-round draft pick in Tyler Wilson for a roster spot, under center to start the season?

It seems there are those unwilling to give Pryor a chance despite his obvious skill set that can help to compensate for a lack of overall talent on the roster.

Pryor was sound this preseason in four games, but McGloin was no slouch either: 

Where Pryor really does his damage is on the ground, where he racked up another 131 yards and a touchdown. It's also imperative to remember that Pryor was doing most of his damage against starters while McGloin was handling backups.

Yes, weak-armed and oft-injured Flynn is an afterthought at this point.

McGloin may be more NFL-ready as a passer than Pryor, but for a roster so deficient in talent at a variety of spots, the Raiders need a wild card. That would be Pryor and his dual-threat ability.

Other than at quarterback, Oakland is nearly identical to last year's team on the offensive side of the ball. We saw in 2012-13 what a pocket passer stuck in this offense can do—Carson Palmer mustered over 4,000 passing yards on a team that went 4-12.

Regardless of who is under center, running back Darren McFadden will dictate how far the Raiders offense can go.

The additional threat of Pryor's ability to run out of a read-option pistol look just adds another layer of big-play potential that defenses must prepare for each week.

The best thing the Raiders can do is turn Pryor loose. Will he make mistakes? That's the safest bet in the world. He's learning, but the ratio that is important to keep track of is big plays vs. turnovers—not completion percentage or any other metric used to analyze traditional pocket passers.

Give Pryor one to two reads at most on passing downs and have him take off. At 6'6" and 230 pounds, he's a smooth blend of elusive and bruising in the open field.

The absolute worst thing the Raiders can do is create controversyespecially in the middle of a game. No silly quarterback rotations like some crumbling franchises have done in recent years. Let Pryor learn as he goes and the team will grow with him.

Pryor can and will win games for Oakland if the organization allows it, and he plays in a system that is still relatively effective against NFL defenses.

Regardless of the team's skepticism, Pryor gives the Raiders the best chance to win football games. That should be the ultimate goal.


Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling.