When Jared Veldheer tore his triceps early in the off-season it seemed like a death blow to the Oakland Raiders season. Throughout his young career in the silver and black, Veldheer has proven he was by far the best player on the Raiders roster. So how was Veldheer’s injury a blessing in disguise?
If Veldheer did not go down, last night’s starting quarterback would have been the great Matt Flynn. It was not until Flynn’s pathetic performance in game 3 of the preseason that Flynn’s position as starting quarterback was put into question. Flynn simply could not handle the constant pass rush that opposing defenses put up against the Raiders awful offensive line.
The only quarterback on the Raiders roster who could handle the constant pass rush was the raw Terrelle Pryor. After three impressive starts, Pryor has shown that he is the quarterback for the foreseeable future for the Raiders. Not only has Pryor’s decision making improved every game but he has improved as a pocket quarterback. Pryor is on pace for over 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing.
Unfortunately, it looks as though Pryor will miss next week’s showdown with RGIII and the Redskins. We will get our first real glimpse of what the Matt Flynn era of Raiders football would have looked like as Flynn is expected to start on Sunday.
Obviously we should all hope Flynn puts a great performance in front of the raucous Raider Nation. However, it is unlikely Flynn can do anything to knock Pryor off of his perch as the starting quarterback. Pryor’s rise can be traced back to the fall of Veldheer earlier in the off-season.