Up to this point, Terrelle Pryor has been a considerable mystery. The media has really only seen a small sample of his play at training camp and most of in-season practice is closed to the media. He took one snap last season and it was a quarterback sneak in which he was called for a false start.
So as little as the media and by extension the general public has seen of Pryor as a pro, the incoming coaching staff has seen even less. And while McKenzie and Allen are very much leaving open the possibility of Pryor earning the primary backup quarterback position, he will have to show something next week that gives them confidence in him.
"Hopefully our quarterback coach and offensive coordinator and the staff can work him starting next week's voluntary minicamp and see if we can get him rolling." Said McKenzie in a press conference Wednesday. "It's gonna be a constant evaluation but they need to find out how good he is and how good he can be."
"They need to know what he is, how he can throw the ball, how he picks it up, and get him on the field. So next week I think is gonna be a great tell tale sign for the coaching staff. Not just for the quarterback position but for many of those positions."
The words that stand out to me here, is "WHAT he is." Which suggests they not only need to know if he is capable of being the primary backup, but whether he is destined to play quarterback at all.
McKenzie said this evaluation will be key in deciding how much emphasis will be placed on bringing in a veteran quarterback to be the backup quarterback. And with the draft being next week, it could shape how much emphasis they place on drafting a quarterback.
Either way, next week is a pivotal time for Terrelle Pryor and his future with the Raiders and perhaps in the NFL. That is a lot of pressure to place on a voluntary minicamp but that's the pressure McKenzie and the Raiders are under right now. They don't have the luxury of faith. They have to know what they have in Pryor right now.