Will Terrelle Pryor Start Beyond This Season?

The NFL season has just reached the halfway point and first year starting QB Terrell Pryor has six more starts under his belt. The results have been a mixed bag which is to be expected to a certain degree with a young QB. Pryor wasn’t scheduled to start this season, but eventually won the duties from struggling journey man Matt Flynn. Dennis Allen and company were a little reluctant to start Pryor and momentarily flirted with Josh Freeman, so where will the Raiders turn next year based on what they have seen of Pryor to this point.
Pryor has looked pretty comfortable and at times formidable in the pocket, which is where his sharpest criticism has usually emerged. The status of Oakland’s offensive line will play a large role in what the Raiders may do at quarterback in the offseason. The line has been riddled by injuries and has yet to consistently provide adequate running lanes for a decent running to help out Pryor. Play action, usually an integral part of any offense looking to acclimate a young qb, has basically been taken out of the playbook due to most defenses lack of respect for the oft abysmal run game. A young QB is pretty hard to access, mainly because you don’t know what their thought process is when the ball is snapped and the “x’s” start to move. Throw in a shaky offensive line, no running game and a young receiving corp, the task of assessing your signal caller becomes almost impossible. It’s hard to believe after this point in the season Oakland still may not know what they have in Pryor just yet, but that is indeed the reality. The offensive line is starting to get healthier with rookie tackle Menelik Watson returning last week and Jared Veldheer slated to return in the coming weeks which should provide the framework to properly assess Pryor under a closer to normal environment.
The final games of this season may very well shape Terrell Pryor’s whole career and ultimately the path of the franchise. On the business side of things, Pryor is a no brainer. Pryor means more butts in the seats, jersey sales and most likely more tv time if Pryor is indeed under center next year. On the football side of things, Pryor has done enough to sway Oakland from taking a QB with their first selection in the draft. However, a wise decision would be to bring some competition to camp and a veteran to mentor Pryor. At the moment Pryor is the most veteran quarterback on the team. If Oakland were a team where everything else was in place except for the quarterback, the first selection would probably be a quarterback. As it stands, there are just too many other holes on the team that far exceed quarterback. Pryor will still need to show development and not regress as the season matures, if he does I see no reason why he won’t be under center for the black and silver next season.

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