The Oakland Raiders are not in the midst of a quarterback controversy, but if Terrelle Pryor steps up to the plate in training camp and the pre-season, there very well could be one. After watching im ride the bench for the majority of his first two years on the team, Terrelle Pryor was finally given an opportunity to play in week 17 of the 2012 season. Apparently he proved enough in that start to give him a shot at the starting position.
Reggie McKenzie sat down for an interview at the Senior Bowl in Alabama on Tuesday and one of the most interesting tidbits to come from that interview is that Pryor will be given an opportunity to compete for the starting quarterback position in 2013.
Previously, Pryor had been thought of as disfavored by the new regime in Oakland. After an impressive showing in the pre-season, Pryor never saw the field until the final game of the 2012 season. This was true despite the fact that it was clear at a much earlier point that this season was a wash for the Raiders.
In addition, one of the signings made in the pre-season was that of Matt Leinart, which dropped Pryor back to third string and all but assured he would not suit for most of the games in 2012.
Then Carson Palmer went down with a rib injury and the Raiders decided that with one game left in the season, they would finally allow Pryor to take the field and not only play in a regular season game, but start and play the entire game. While he did not put up incredible stats, he had a less than 50% completion rate, he put together three touchdown scoring drives after the Raiders had not scored a touchdown in the previous eight quarters of football they had played.
While not a great performance, it appears to have been enough to have made Pryor a candidate to compete for the starting job in Oakland, something that was out of the question in 2012.
"Let him compete. That's what it's all about. If it looks like he can help us win, at the end of the day, that's what it's all about. That's what we want" said McKenzie.
That's not exactly a glowing review, but again, it is a lot more of an opportunity than was given Pryor leading into the 2012 season.
So what, then, does Pryor need to do in order to further impress the Raiders brass? "(Pryor) needs to see if he can take a game over in the preseason, make some plays and carry out a game plan" says McKenzie.
It will be interesting to see how much of an opportunity Pryor is actually given in the pre-season. Last pre-season, he was only really able to see time against third and fourth stringers. In order to get a legitimate shot at unseating Carson Palmer, Pryor will first have to see more time with the starters in the pre-season.
Regardless of how much of a real opportunity Pryor gets at unseating Palmer, one thing appears clear, he has proven that at the least, he is good enough to be the back up for the Raiders.