It has been over a decade since the Oakland Raiders were dominating the NFL. Rich Gannon was the reason the Raiders had their resurgence in the beginning of the 21st century, as Gannon was dinking and dunking his way into Raiders history. Since Gannon’s retirement, Raiders fans have had to endure the awful eras of Kerry Collins, Andrew Walter, Dante Culpepper, Josh McCown, Aaron Brooks, Rick Mirer, Bruce Gradkowski, JaMarcus Russell, Jason Campbell and Carson Palmer. We were thankfully spared of watching the Matt Flynn era, as his three awful preseason games showed he is nothing more than a backup.
The Raider Nation got their wish when Terrelle Pryor was named the starting quarterback yesterday. While Pryor was by far the best option to become the starting quarterback this year, we must tamp down our expectations for the young Pryor. Raiders fans must be patient with this year’s Raiders squad as they are essentially in a full rebuilding season. After 10 years of bad contracts and even worse play, the Raiders finally have a bright future ahead of them.
Head coach Dennis Allen made the right decision for the Raiders future by giving Pryor a chance to start. Pryor will be light years behind other starting quarterbacks in terms of decision making and throwing accuracy. However, his 4.3 speed and 6’4 frame makes him the most dangerous running quarterback in the NFL. As of right now, Pryor is nowhere near Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson or Colin Kaepernick as a complete quarterback. All three of those young quarterbacks are polished passers who also have the ability to run. Pryor is bigger and faster than all of them but is not a polished quarterback.
Unfortunately, Pryor will have to work with an injury depleted offensive line and no real tight ends. It will be up to Pryor to make throws to his wide receiver while on the run. You can expect Pryor to make plenty of mistakes throughout the season but he must show improved decision making by the end of the year to make him a candidate to be the quarterback in 2014.
It is safe to say that the 2013 Raiders will not win many games. However, Raiders fans should not worry about the win/loss column this year. The Raiders will have up to 70 million dollars in cap room next year and all of their top draft picks. If Pryor shows flashes of greatness he can set himself up to be the quarterback of the future but if he flops there will be no harm done to the rebuilding Raiders.