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Terrelle Pryor says being a backup doesn't define him

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Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

It's been an up and down season for Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Of late, the downs have far outweighed the ups and these days he is relegated to watching Matt McGloin get the snaps and the starts that once were his.

"Right now Matt's the quarterback," said Pryor. "The only thing I can do is control what I can control and just keep getting better. At the end of the day that's all I can control. That's where we're at."

Pryor did get in the game last week against the Jets for one series. The team drove into field goal range and scored their only three points of the first half. But that was the only action he saw in the game which finished with a 37-27 loss in New York.

"There were a couple plays I wish I had back because I was kind of getting greedy trying to make a play because I didn't know if I was going to play again the rest of the game," Pryor continued. "You just try to go and run the play as proper as it's supposed to be played and let it play out. It was safe throws, safe things I was thinking but there's definitely in the back of your mind you want to make a play to help the team and that's your chance right there. So you also have to fight that urge not to make a mistake as well by trying too hard."

The tough thing for Pryor is he wants to be out there starting. He was replaced five weeks ago when he went down with a knee injury that cost him his mobility. The Raiders fell to the Giants in his last start in which he was clearly not himself. After the game, he admitted he was not healthy even though he said all week that he was fine. A decision he regrets today.

"I showed very small signs of being a leader that day because I was so upset that I didn't play well because I was injured. At the end of the day whether I was talked into going or whatever the case may be, I went out and I gotta be able to handle the business for the team. Everyone counted for me to go out there and lead. It was just bad leadership on my side to make an excuse at the end to say it was my knee. Whether it was or not, that's one of my biggest regrets right there. Anytime you step on the field you gotta make plays and you're held accountable so that's what I realize and wish I coulda did different."

The team put Matt McGloin in at quarterback and in his first game out, he ignited the Raiders offense, throwing three touchdown passes to zero interceptions. He has had the job ever since.

McGloin won the job that day. But don't say Pryor lost the job. He doesn't see it that way.

"I don't call it lost a job. I got hurt, he came in a played well. I don't call it lost my job. But, you know, did he end up playing well and he's playing good and he's helping the team? However you want to call it."

"Right now I'm not playing obviously. But what's that going to determine, my failure or success? I was hurt in the New York Giants game and couldn't exactly be myself, I come back and somebody else is starting."

Pryor added he could have returned against the Titans which was just a week after he had been sat down with his injury. And yet last week was the first time he saw action in a game. He claims to be making the best of his situation, but it is clear he is very frustrated with having his starting job taken from him while he was out with injury.

The Raiders may continue to try to incorporate him into the offense in the team's final three games this season but there's no indication Matt McGloin will be losing his starting job the remainder of the season.

Pryor has another year left on his contract, but if he doesn't feel like he will get a fair shake at the starting job in Oakland or the Raiders don't think he can be the starter, he may need to find his opportunity elsewhere.