Oakland Raiders: Why is Everyone Experiencing Pryor-Mania?
Jimmy Hal – Jul 5, 2012
This offseason has been all about change for the Oakland Raiders. From the notorious era led by the legend Al Davis, passed down to his son Mark Davis and his partner, general manager Reggie McKenzie.
Al Davis had an interesting philosophy on how to guage and acquire talent for the Raiders. If he saw potential an athlete, he wanted that athlete to don the silver and black.
McKenzie's philosophy is a bit different, and as a first year general manager, McKenzie has inherited Davis' final talent acquisition, quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
One year after Davis' selection of Pryor, fans have had multiple opinions about the young signal caller; some positive, some negative. In fact, Pryor may be the most talked about third string quarterback in the National Football League.
But Why? Why is a third string quarterback getting so much attention, when it's likely he will not see much, if any playing time?
The biggest reason is most likely potential. Athleticaly, Pryor's measurables make him a physical specimen for the quarterback position. So much so that some fans are of the opinion Pryor could play another position. However Pryor's collegiate career implies he is not a talent to be given up on as a quarterback.
From a perspective of wins versus losses, Pryor was 31-4 in college. Though his accuracy could improve; he posted just a 60.9 completion percentage, Pryor still managed to have a 144.6 passer rating and 57-26 touchdown to interception ratio.
Another reason Pryor has been on the minds of fans is because of starting quarterback Carson Palmer. It is fair to say that all fans want Palmer to do well with the Raiders. Palmer's success could likely bring overall team success, but the looming question is, how will Palmer play?
Most believe Pryor or possibly Matt Leinart will not see the feild unless Palmer unfortunately gets injured. But what if Palmer just does not play well? That is a strong possibility.
Putting Palmer's decision to quit on the Cinncinatti Bengals aside, Palmer's time there saw him play at an elite level but also at a below average level. Raider fans realize that.
A contributing factor in Raider fans intrigue with Pryor is his work ethic. That is all fans have heard about durring OTA's and mini-camp. Position coach John DeFillippo and head coach Dennis Allen have both made it know that Pryor is doing everything he can to improve, yet still has a ways to go as a signal caller.
Along with his tendency for hard work, Pryor has also tugged at the heart strings of Raider fans by reaching out to former Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon. But is that enough?
Gannon was quoted as saying, "It's not like all of a sudden he's going to come out, work with me for a day and throw for 5,000 yards." That is exactly right. Pryor could be there for months and it would mean nothing unless it shows up in training camp and upcoming preseason games.
Fans are clearly excited to see what Pryor can do. They are also curious to see what the new Raiders regime really think of him and his future. Prior to the NFL draft, Reggie McKenzie was asked if Pryor could be a legitimate No.2 option behind Palmer.
McKenzie replied, "Absolutely....that is his goal, and that is the goal that the coaches are going to try and get him going". Weeks later McKenzie acquired Matt Leinart, who has a familiarity with offensive coordinator Greg Knapp. This leaves some to wonder.
But was that a hit against Pryor or just an upgrade over Rhett Bomar and Kyle Boller. Keep in mind Leinart has been in quarterback battles before and lost to an aging Kurt Warner, a declining Derek Andersen and a rookie John Skellton. So there is no gurantee Leinart has the inside track to the number two spot despite his familiarity with the offense.
Whatever the reason for Leinart's signing, McKenzie will have a sharp eye on Pryor. Keep in mind that typically, when a franchise makes a regime change at the general manager position, a young quarterback usually comes soon after. It is true of the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and most recently the Indianapolis Colts.
Pryor could indeed be that young signal caller should Palmer struggle, or McKenzie could look toward the traditional NFL draft route to get the "quaterback of the future."
Pryor has his work cut out for him as nothing will be given to him no matter how badly fans may want to see him play. McKenzie and Allen have made that clear to every player on the team, not just Pryor.
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