Pryor could be the real deal


We all saw flashes of his potential during the 2012 preseason, but Terrelle Pryor remained tightly under wraps as a regular-season quarterback until Sunday against the Colts.  Based on what he accomplished in Indy, there’s no reason to think Pryor can’t continue it, and eventually build on it.

Despite rumblings in the home team’s locker room that Pryor makes one read in the passing game and then runs the ball, our review of the entire game shows multiple occasions in which Pryor dropped back and considered multiple options before throwing or running.

On the opening drive of the game, for example, there were multiple plays in which Pryor made more than one read before throwing the ball, including during a pair of third-down conversions.  And when Pryor found Rod Streater on third and 10 for a key first down inside the Colts 10 as Oakland prepared to take its first lead of the game in the fourth quarter, Pryor dropped back, made multiple reads, rolled to the right, and finally connected with Streater.

When Pryor appeared to use the one-read-and-run approach, it was effective far more often than not.  He got rid of the ball quickly in many situations, with confidence that the man to whom it was being thrown would be open.  When Pryor ran, either by design or due to a breakdown in protection, he was elusive in the backfield and fast once he took off.

Pryor also displayed poise and confidence.  Down 14-0 after two Indianapolis drives, Pryor didn’t give up.  The Raiders chipped away and eventually took the lead.  Even after Colts quarterback Andrew Luck authored his eighth career fourth-quarter come-from-behind drive, Pryor wouldn’t quit, taking the Raiders to the doorstep of the end zone before throwing an interception that ended the game.

Through it all, Pryor made plenty of accurate throws, including a ball lofted to a wide-open Jeron Murstad for a large chunk of ground when the Raiders were driving for a possible win.

Pryor’s best throw of the day ended up not counting.  From the Colts 30, running back Darren McFadden lined up wide to the right and ran a slant-and-go.  After pumping on the short route, Pryor rainbowed the ball to the front corner of the end zone.  McFadden caught it, but he didn’t get a second foot in bounds.

Also, the third-year quarterback from Ohio State also executed the read-option very well, faking out the CBS cameras on multiple occasions when it appeared he’d handed the ball off.

All things considered, it was a great debut from a player who appears to have a ton of potential, especially given the recent rise of the mobile quarterback.  If he can continue to get rid of the ball quickly and to avoid the rush and to turn on the jets when it’s time to run north-south, Pryor could become every bit as dangerous as the other starting quarterback in the Bay Area.

47 responses to “Pryor could be the real deal

  1. I have seen too many mocks with the Raiders taking a QB with a high pick next year and I just don’t feel that’s the direction they will go. They still have time and opportunity with Pryor that might not be worth discarding by then plus they sunk a lot of resources into obtaining Flynn. Mockers should consider penciling them in for something else until the need or want materializes more clearly. An no it’s never too early to think about the next draft!

  2. Yea, don’t see that at all. Serviceable backup, that’s about it.
    Wilson last year with Seattle, Matt Ryan taking that pathetic Falcon team to 11-5 his rookie year – you see the QB potential and talent right off.
    Pryor just doesn’t appear to have it but maybe he’s a late bloomer.

  3. He has a lot of potential especially in this day and age with all the mobile qb’s starting to become popular. But not gonna get carried away he still needs a lot of polish. But its a step in the right direction which is a start especially after the last few years.

  4. It’s hard not to like this kid. He’s a huge team guy with great attitude. How cool would it be if the kid became something special after being Al Davis’ last draft pick. Good Luck TP

  5. Best article I’ve ever read on pft. Thank you for doing the research and watching the tape. Great analysis, not predicting or guaranteeing anything but makes good points

  6. Pryor has done nothing but work since Al took him in the 3rd round of the supplemental draft in ’11. He came in and took the job from Flynn and earned it because of that hard work. He is rough around the edges but he has the drive and the will to get better. He really wants it and he is willing to put in the work to be great. I would love to go into the off season knowing we have our QB of the future and to be able to focus on other positions in the draft. Throw in the estimated $70 mil in cap space (depending on who you ask) and Oakland could be a force going into ’14. God I pray Pryor is the answer.

  7. alldonesmith says: Sep 12, 2013 3:49 PM

    It’s a little premature to start comparing Pryor to Colin Kaepernick, don’t you think? Sheesh.
    The only quarterbacks mentioned were Pryor and Luck.

  8. @raiderapologist read the last sentence

    I like Pryor, he has some heart. But until he learns how to pass he will just be #BlackTebow minus 4th quarter heroics It’s not hard to stop an offense whose main play is the QB Sneak, QB bootleg, QB scramble, Checkdown. Then INT in the redzone.

  9. raiderapologist says:
    Sep 12, 2013 4:31 PM

    The only quarterbacks mentioned were Pryor and Luck.

    The last line of the article:

    “If he can continue to get rid of the ball quickly and to avoid the rush and to turn on the jets when it’s time to run north-south, Pryor could become every bit as dangerous as the other starting quarterback in the Bay Area.”

  10. funny how all of the “experts” picked Indianapolis to beat the crap out of the Raiders and TP came in with the defense and almost pulled off a win.. yeah Al Davis is proud right now, go TP keep the haters hating…

  11. What would be nice if Pryor became friends with Kaep and give TP a few tips. Currently, Kaep can do no wrong and Pryor remains a work in progress. Still we are optimistic in Raider Nation.

  12. Give Al Davis some credit. The man had enormous stones. How many people would’ve rolled the dice on a kid like Pryor after being burned in such ridiculous fashion by Jamarcus Russell. I hope the kid is a HOF QB one day because, and only because, it would be the greatest possible ending to the Al Davis story…

  13. I just wanted to share a story about Pryor that maybe some dont know about. After the last game of the season last year, when the raiders got back to their team facility after finishing 4-12, after the players cleaned out their lockers. Pryor stopped by where fans wait to watch the players leave and he got out of his car and handed out gloves, shoes, hugs, autographs and took pictures with fans. That’s the great thing about Pryor, he gets the leadership role, he cares about the fans and giving back. He comes in on off days and puts in the extra work and he’s humble. That’s why I have a good feeling about him, he puts in the work and is humble, two of the most important ingredients in becoming great. I don’t know how good he can be, but I think we will see his full potential because he’s going to go for it. There very well could be something special on the horizon for the Raiders, and he’s only going to get better, because he wants to.

  14. Not sure on this. At the game last week there is no question he seemed to dominate. After watching the tape I am wondering if the Colts just were not prepared for him. The Colts D- line were gassed after a couple of quarters chasing TP around. Obviously, you don’t want your QB to be your leading rusher but he did very well keeping drives going with his feet. While his passes weren’t rockets, he did show some nice touch on them. If I were a Raiders fan, I would be pretty happy to have this kid as my QB. Nothing wrong with being cautiously optimistic.

  15. I always trade for Pryor in madden and turn him into a BEAST. The physical tools are obviously there. I hope everything else catches up

  16. I remember the so called experts saying this back in the summer of 2011;

    Mel Kiper – “I’ve thought all along he was a tight end,” if he’s going to take the stance that quarterback is the only position he’ll consider playing, he totally diminishes his value.

    John Clayton BSPN –….Raiders are interested in using Pryor as a receiver

    Athon Sports) another oversized QB who can’t actually “throw” the ball (usually a minor bit of importance for a professional quarterback). –

    Mike Mayock – NFL – Pryor’s short and intermediate passing was not up to the NFL’s standards of accuracy.

    Bill Williamson – BSPN Let’s get this out of the way right now: Taking Pryor with a third-round pick is too high. It just is. He is not a polished player. He needs a lot of work. There’s even a chance Oakland could eventually move him to receiver, so there is no clear path for him.

    Don Banks – (bSI) only as a long-term project, and even then without enough upside to ever lead an NFL franchise at the game’s most pivotal position.

    Peter King – (bSI) So he goes to Oakland for a third-rounder, which is steep

    Buffalo Bills – Bills head coach Chan Gailey admitted that they considered taking Terrelle Pryor in the NFL Supplemental draft Monday, but it sounded as if a mid-round pick was too high a price as the Bills saw it

    Steve Muench (BSPN) given his deficiencies as a passer, the third round is still very early for a player who is a developmental project at wideout.

    Kevin Weidl (Scouts Inc) Weidl said he doesn’t think Pryor is necessarily a sure thing as a quarterback or as a receiver prospect. He said Pryor is inaccurate and unpolished as a passer and he looks tight as a route runner

    Wes Bunting – National Football Post -Overall, would I draft the guy as a quarterback prospect? No chance

    Raiders 2011- “This young man is a quarterback!”

  17. I liked the pick when Coach Davis made it, and love it now. Pryor has a chance to be great, he is still very young, but like everyone else has said here, he WANTS to be great and is willing to work his ass off to be great. Love how he has no big ME ME ME ego either, he is all about the team and winning !

  18. I don’t care what people say, I saw the game and I was pleasantly surprised by Pryor. He made good reads and throws. To me, the only negatives are the interception he threw at the end and the sack he took at the end. I didn’t mind the first INT because he brought the raiders back and put them in a position to win!

  19. I don’t understand all the haters. Why does everyone love to hate Pryor? He got burned at OSU and has been nothing but a true professional since he arrived in the NFL. He is humble, never complains, works hard, leads by example, is accountable for his mistakes, and is apparently a really nice guy. What is not to like? That he is a Raider? Whatever. You all keep telling yourselves that he is a fluke. He is not Kaepernick for sure, but he has all the tools and plenty of time. I hate to point out the obvious difference….Kaepernick was already surrounded by a superbowl caliber team on both sides of the ball and TP is working with the NFL’s table scraps right now. Hate on haters. The kid is a gamer and I’m proud to see him in Silver and Black….even if it takes him a year or two to come into his own. I expect to see him behind center for a while. Go Raiders!

  20. Wow… the first positive story I remember reading on PFT about the Raiders. I do give you credit for actually going back and rewatching the game and forming your own opinion on TP. You could have easily been content with reporting the previous story about how he doesn’t read defenses.

  21. Raiders fans think that Russell was the real deal too… Keep dreaming kids, but reality will hit you like a train. This kid is nothing but a backup.

  22. Made an account just to comment on this post

    This whole team was extremely doubted going into week one, and to see how they played, especially Pryor, I’m pretty excited about what’s to come this season. On top of that, it’s been revealed that even when Flynn was the projected starter, Pryor would send teammates texts trying to motivate people for the game. He would also leave notes in the receivers lockers about things he noticed in film about certain looks DBs give. For someone that’s been in the NFL as a backup for such a short time, how can you not love this? I’m glad he’s getting the chance to start and show what he could do. I personally think that DA should have started giving Pryor a lot more reps last season towards the end of the year when it was obvious there were no playoff hopes. Either way, best of luck to the team as they take on the Jags. I wish the Broncos weren’t our week 3 matchup, but I could only imagine what would happen if the Raiders bring that one down to the wire or even leave with a W.

  23. xofootballer says:
    Sep 12, 2013 3:55 PM
    Yea, don’t see that at all. Serviceable backup, that’s about it.
    Wilson last year with Seattle, Matt Ryan taking that pathetic Falcon team to 11-5 his rookie year – you see the QB potential and talent right off.
    Pryor just doesn’t appear to have it but maybe he’s a late bloomer.
    You don’t see it because you either don’t want to, or your effectively blind.

    ANYONE can see it when it in full display, even you.


  24. Some people keep saying they invested alot into Flynn. The to stall opposite is true. They have up one late pick. Then gave him an extension for about a million more than he was on schedule to make. However the extension voided any guaranteed money goin forward. He will be cut at seasons end and either signed as a backup or move on yet again. It was a savy move on Mckenzies part espescially considering the Palmer situation.

  25. Wow. It’s rare that something good is written about the Raiders. Good, well-balanced article. Thanks for that. I agree that its early to say the kid is a Pro Bowler, but there are signs of potential. That’s about all you can expect out of a young kid that doesn’t have a lot of experience. And let’s face the reality. The Raiders are rebuilding. They have a lot of young players. Expectations are low. Now’s the time to see what this kids got. If he plays great, awesome. If he sucks, you move on. Unfortunately for Flynn, he’s not mobile enough to survive behind the patchword O-line. I’d like to see Flynn catch a break. I think he can be a good QB in the right situation, but keeps landing in the wrong situation.

  26. I want to see this kid succeed. I don’t care about him being a Raider. I don’t care about the OSU tattoo scandal. He’s a hometown guy in the NFL.

    He’s got many of the tools that he’s going to need to succeed on a personal level, it just remains to be seen if the team is going to be willing to stick with him long enough to put players around him to let him be successful in the long run. I hope that he puts in all the work and that the front office gives him some weapons.

  27. People who dont know this is to you.. TP is already friends with kaepernick. Theres pictures of the two hanging out both of them often workout with each other too. It would be great to see both bay teams go far and to have great QBs. TP eust beeds to keep growing as a QB hes not bad at afanll he can play ball. -49Ers fan by the way

  28. Aspects not in his favor:

    -Very weak O-Line.

    -Running game built around a guy who has never played a complete season.

    -Below average defense.

    Again, it was only one game. However, you NEVER want your (only) QB to be the leading rusher on the team. More talented, and athletic guys have done so, to deleterious effect.

    Don’t get caught up in the emotions, just because the Raiders outplayed expectations in their first game. Additionally, you won’t be able to judge them from this Sunday. The Jaguars don’t even count as an NFL team.

    The kid might have a bright future, but not until the team can sure up the aspects I noted above.

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