Heading into the final week of the preseason, it seems that Matt Flynn has lost out on another starting quarterback role for the second consecutive season. Barring a serious meltdown, this time it will be to Terrelle Pryor.
Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olsen just went vocal on Pryor’s capabilities, saying that he will tailor the offense to his skill-set. That alone almost assures that Pryor will be the Week 1 starter for Oakland.
Via CSN Bay Area, “When you see Terrelle in a game, he just looks faster than the other players on the field. That’s what jumped out at me, and probably jumped out at most people when they watch him play. He can run. He is a tremendous athlete, and he’s got the ability to make plays. Right now we’re looking for playmakers.”
Playmaker indeed. Watching Pryor, what is most evident is his speed and tackle breaking ability. When you throw in the possibility of his passing proficiency continuing to improve, the Raiders have a star in their hands — I don’t hesitate in saying that.
The way Pryor played against the Chicago Bears (7-of-9, 93 yards, two total TDs) alone indicated that he is the QB for this offense, regardless of Flynn’s “elbow tendinitis”. Though Flynn played sparingly against the New Orleans Saints (12-of-16, 124 yards, one TD), it is conspicuous that the offense struggles to move with him under center. In fact, so far this preseason, the offense has scored just 10 points with Flynn, while having scored 26 with Pryor.
With a woeful offensive line, having Pryor as the team’s starting QB is almost a necessity in my eyes. He shows an inept ability to escape the pocket and extend the play with his speed — be that to run or throw. With Jared Veldheer nursing an injury and a great amount of ambiguity on the rest of the O-line, manning the offense with speed and misdirection seems like the best option. I fully expect to see lots of play-action and read-option types of plays.
Furthermore, Oakland’s offensive line has all the signs of being a cause of serious frustration for this offense. Even on Flynn’s most impressive preseason performance against the Saints, he was sacked five times, completing only 2-of-6 passes while being blitz.
On 12 total plays this preseason where Flynn was blitzed, has was sacked six times, whereas Pryor was sacked just once on nine dropbacks.
For Flynn to bounce back as the Silver-and-Blacks starter would require a cataclysmic performance tonight from Pryor against the Seattle Seahawks. All in all though, I think the fans of The Nation finally have a QB to get excited about.