It wasn't until the week six home game on October 16 that Pryor would be allowed to join his teammates on the Raider sideline. Raider fans were thinking that as soon as the suspension was lifted we would all see some special plays featuring the Raiders newest quarterback. He didn't touch the field.
More importantly, in that game, Jason Campbell went down with a broken collarbone before halftime. It was the last snap Campbell would play as a Raider. He was replaced by Kyle Boller and for one half of football, Pryor was the primary backup at quarterback (well, with the exception of Shane Lechler).
"I don't want anyone to go down" said Pryor of Jason Campbell. "I'm just here to work hard and to make a lot of people proud in any way I can. Tomorrow I'm coming into work and doing the same things I've been doing, getting better.
Pryor would remain the team's primary backup to Kyle Boller.. for the next two days until Carson Palmer was acquired in trade with the Bengals. And for the next five days, Hue Jackson was playing quarterback musical chairs.
While everyone was wondering who would start between Boller and Palmer, Jackson continued to remind everyone that Pryor was available as well. Though none of us were really buying it. Come the game, Pryor saw one snap-- and it was a false start.
"He practiced it." Said Jackson. "[the refs] said that there was pause before the ball was snapped. Well, there's a cadence before the ball was snapped, there's a `set-hut' before the ball was snapped. So, they called it. But yeah, he was ready for it. We practiced it. We practiced it several times."
Recently Pryor spoke to the Pittsburgh tribune and he spoke about that game. And it seems Hue gave Pryor every indication that he would be a much bigger part of the offense that day.
"I had a whole package for that game," Pryor said. "I was going to make a bunch of throws, but we ended up getting smashed and I was yanked. Who knows where it would have gone? I'm confident I would have been successful during that time. We were down, 21-0, and we didn't run any plays."
Hue Jackson instead focused on getting his new franchise quarterback some game reps during the second half, resulting in three interceptions from Palmer. But none of that explains why Pryor never saw the field for a single play the rest of the season. As we saw in camp and practice and in his one snap, he was just not ready. And it is difficult when he will be ready; If ever. At least at quarterback anyway.
But Pryor thinks that with the new staff and new system, he will finally get his shot.
"I'm getting a fresh start with the new staff coming in," Pryor said. "I'm going to learn the new system just like all the other quarterbacks. All I'm just looking for is a fair shot."
"The new staff told us that all positions are open, so you have to battle for the position you want. There is going to be some good competition. Once you get the position, you have to keep fighting for it.
"Like Tom Brady said, he felt he had to work hard every day, like he was going to lose his job. That's what gives him that edge that he never wanted to be behind someone. That quote right there lifted me up and picked up my spirits. To hear him say that makes me work extra hard."
The Raiders are actively in the market for a number two quarterback although recently Reggie McKenzie said it was a low priority. If and when that new quarterback comes aboard, Pryor will be competing with Rhett Bomar as the team's third quarterback. Unless he is struggling mightily, he is expected to beat out Bomar. But if he does continue to struggle, it could mean a position change.
Another option is, of course, to be slash type wildcat quarterback the way Tim Tebow will be used in New York. Although the Jets have a borderline starter in Mark Sanchez while in Oakland, it is all Carson Palmer, all the time.
If you ask Pryor, there are no issues he can't handle. As he said after his very first game as a Raider:
"My confidence is never a problem. Serious. It's never a problem. I'm a very confident guy, I carry myself highly, it's not a problem."
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