The Oakland Raiders are coming off a dreadful season that saw them post a pathetic 4-12 record when all was said and done. Amidst the sea of woe, there were a few bright spots for the silver and black. One of those was second-year quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
Taken in the third-round of the 2011 NFL Supplemental Draft, Pryor was seen by many as an incapable passer who didn’t have the arm or football IQ to make it in the NFL. In his first start of his professional career, Pryor turned a few of his doubters into believers.
In a Week 17 showdown with the San Diego Chargers, Pryor completed 13 of his 28 attempts for 150 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also ran the ball nine times for 49 yards and a touchdown. Despite the fact that the Raiders lost, Pryor showed some promise and made skeptics reconsider writing him off as an NFL quarterback.
Pryor’s impressive performance in the season finale even got the attention of his head coach Dennis Allen, who believes that the youngster is worth taking into consideration heading into 2013.
“He’s obviously somebody that we’ve got to take into account of and know that he’s a guy that can create things,” Allen said. “His athleticism and his play-making ability was something we really need to take into account moving forward.”
Despite the fact that he was getting his first NFL start, Pryor seemed cool and collected, and Allen took notice.
“His presence on the field was what I thought impressed me the most,” Allen continued. “The game was not too big for him. He had a very good presence, a good demeanor about himself… Those are some of the things that you see on game day that you don’t necessarily see in practice.”
Before he can take over as No. 1 gunslinger for the Raiders, Pryor will have to topple starter Carson Palmer, who is coming off a rib and lung injury. The veteran is nearing the end of his career, but still appears to have another season or two left in the tank. Unless Palmer struggles early in 2013 and losses the trust of the coaching staff, though, it could be awhile before Pryor takes the reins for good.
It’s becoming clearer that Pryor does have a real chance at being a starter in the NFL. He proved in his short amount of playing time in 2012 that he has the ability to make good things happen. The only question now is how long it’ll be before the Raiders give him a real opportunity to put his game on display.