Pryor

Allen names Terrelle Pryor the starting quarterback

PryorIf you’re looking for a reason to watch the Raiders on Sunday, look no further than to their third-string quarterback. No, seriously. Following Friday’s practice, head coach Dennis Allen named Terrelle Pryor the starter for the Raiders’ regular season finale.

“I’ve decided to go with Terrelle Pryor as our quarterback,” Allen said. “He’ll play in the game and we’ll see how the game goes. He’s the starter, and we’re going to go into it as we would any other game.”

This news should both surprise and excite fans. Just four days ago, Allen told reporters that Pryor wasn’t ready for an increased role in the offense. “Terrelle’s done a nice job,” Allen noted. “He’s working extremely hard. We don’t feel like he’s ready to be the backup quarterback yet.”

What a difference four days makes, eh? Maybe it’s the holiday spirit, or maybe it’s the result of a lost bet. Whatever the case, Pryor should instill some amount of excitement back into the Raiders’ offense.

With Matt Leinhart under center, the Raiders’ offense mustered just 189 yards of total offense against a Carolina Panthers’ defense that ranks in the bottom-five of the NFL. That’s Oakland’s lowest total offensive output since November 21, 2010, when the Raiders managed just 182 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It should be noted that at the time the Steelers had a top-five defense.

Leinhart was pressured on only 10 of his 33 drop backs. And, yet, he still managed to play terribly. On plays in which he faced no pressure, Leinhart was 10 of 23 for 72 yards and an interception. That’s 3.1 yards per attempt. That’s also outrageously bad. If Pryor manages to play worse, I’d be surprised.

Pryor’s matchup is as favorable as Leinhart’s was against Carolina. He will have to contend with a San Diego pass defense that Pro Football Focus the bottom five. If Pryor is unable to take advantage of the Chargers’ porous secondary with his arm, he should at least be able to utilize his leg to keep the Raiders from Leinhartian ineptitude. Or, at least, we should hope so.

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East Bay Sports Guy

A resident of California, East Bay Sports Guy (otherwise known as Scott Preston) often spends his time wearing v-necks -- sometimes deep, sometimes not -- and watching teams that play sports together as a team. You can follow Scott @SportsAnxiety.

11 comments
erik
erik

There won't be any improvement by this team until they fix the defense. At least the penalty nonsense was managed so that they weren't killing themselves with 10-12 penalties a game for 100 plus yards like they were when Hue was coaching.

Slam
Slam

Yeah I liked Pryor's athleticism, fire, running ability, and moxie. Didn't like his wobbly duck Jim Plunkett passes; some of them were downright ugly. Not NFL caliber arm strength. I agree it's an interesting question: Did Allen make this call or was he "helped" by his bosses ?

TommyJ
TommyJ

Don't really who made the call; today showed Pryor has potential to be a workable #2. Would like to see a little more heat instead of touch on some of his passes, but he was a lot better than I thought he would be. Would like to see someone on the coaching staff be more of a Pistol/Wildcat expert so they can draw some packages up for him. Maybe even bring in Chris Ault, the newly retired Nevada coach for a consultation.

devnull
devnull

Maybe Allen's initial story was just a head fake, and he planned to start Pryor all along. Wouldn't be the first head coach who said one thing to the media and did something different later. Whether you believe that or not depends on how much you think Reggie and/or Davis get involved in roster decisions. The other possibility of course, is Allen had his own "what the heck, let's try it" moment independent of outside influences, and simply changed his mind. That wouldn't be my first guess about what happened, but who knows.

Stan
Stan

How could I leave out the other explanation? MARK DAVIS TOLD ALLEN to start Pryor. That will change a coaches mind in a hurry. Mark isn't paying Pryor to rot behind whats his name...

TommyJ
TommyJ

*Johnson i mean.

TommyJ
TommyJ

Tarver has improved the play of the D enough to the level where they will retain him. I think the Pryor call might be related to Knapp. If he can't do anything effective after being in a full training camp and extra drills he supposedly does, then they might feel that's on Knapp and they need to get a OC with a little more "Pistol" offense knowledge so Pryor can contribute. They also know at the very least get a vet/young guy better than Leinart or Kyle Boller-ie Josh Hohnson if he doesnt stick with Cleveland.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

The Raiders might as well start Terrelle Pryor in this game. The Raiders have nothing to lose, and they should see what they have in Terrell Pryor. Leinart probably is a backup QB at this point, and the Raiders have to see what they have in Pryor at some point. Might as well be this game.

Stan
Stan

Its not even a decision..its "Lets make a Deal" and Allen already guessed wrong on two doors..nothing left to try but no.3

Stan
Stan

Read my Allen as Custer..or the guy Patton slaps..or the lost LT. in Platoon. A decision made so late,its worthless to make any difference this year. At least Harbaugh had the great idea to work out the kinks and de bug the passing of the torch early enough to get rewards. Allen?...with Knapp?..two Singletarys at work. Poor Pryor..he's going to be sacked in the pocket as Knapp gives him Palmer's scheme. Its asking waaaay to much of Knapp to get innovative. If he hasn't done any of that up to now,he never will.

Stan
Stan

My point..and I can see it went over a few heads is,Allen should have done this weeks ago. The last game of the year? what can they hope to see? a miracle?. That's what it would be for Terrell to have a chance at a great game. If Palmer hadn't broken his ribs...Allen would have sent him out to lose the final game. No matter how you cut it ,just terrible GM and HCing.