Terrelle Pryor reportedly will start at quarterback for Raiders

Terrelle Pryor RaidersTerrelle Pryor will start at quarterback for the Oakland Raiders in their Week 1 game at Indianapolis on Sunday, according to a report.

San Francisco Chronicle Raiders reporter Vic Tafur tweeted on Monday that Pryor will get the start, according to what his sources told him.

Entering training camp and during the preseason, it looked like offseason addition Matt Flynn would be the team’s starter, but that changed after his horrific performance in the team’s third preseason game. Flynn went 3-of-6 for 19 yards and two interceptions that game. He also took seven sacks during the preseason.

Pryor struggled during the second and final preseason games, but the former Ohio State QB showed enough play-making ability in the third game to “win” the job. Pryor rushed for 100 yards in three preseason games and threw for 133 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, while taking four sacks.

This is the second season in a row that Flynn failed to capture a starting quarterback job that he was pretty much given to start camp. Maybe that’s because he struggled during practice with passes greater than 25 yards.

Even if Flynn did lose the starting job to Pryor, we still expect to see plenty of him this season. They’re going to need multiple quarterbacks behind that terrible offensive line this season. Heck, that could be why GM Reggie McKenzie kept four quarterbacks on initial roster cutdowns.

Terrelle Pryor changes jersey to No. 2, despite JaMarcus Russell curse

Terrelle-Pryor-first-seasonOakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor wore No. 2 when he was a star at Ohio State, but he has not been able to wear that number at the NFL level. Pryor wore No. 6 during his rookie season in Oakland because No. 2 was considered a cursed number after legendary draft bust JaMarcus Russell wore it during three useless seasons with the team.

This season, Pryor will be looking to erase the foul stench that is attached to No. 2. He showed up to practice on Thursday sporting his old number.

“I had to do a double take,” Raiders quarterback Matt Flynn said in response to the change, via CSNBayArea.com. “Not only was it a new number, the jersey looked a little big on him.”

If that was a fat joke, it should be noted that Russell has lost a ton of weight and is no longer a 300-pounder. Pryor wanted to wear No. 2 when he came into the league, but former Oakland head coach Hue Jackson wouldn’t allow it. Current coach Dennis Allen allowed punter Marquette King to wear No. 2 last season, and he wound up on injured reserve. King switched to No. 7 this season.

From Pryor’s perspective, the No. 2 has served him well. Raiders fans have only bad memories associated with the number in recent history, but Pryor has a chance to break the mold. That will be no easy task. At least the team didn’t have to yank the number off someone else’s back to give it to Pryor. That wouldn’t have been the first time the Raiders have done that this season.

H/T Shutdown Corner

Terrelle Pryor worked with Tom Brady’s and Drew Brees’ throwing coach

Terrelle-Pryor-first-seasonThe Oakland Raiders are entering the 2013 season with quite a bit of inexperience at the quarterback position. As of now, Matt Flynn is expected to be the starter. However, former Ohio State star Terrelle Pryor could challenge Flynn if he puts together a strong training camp.

Pryor claims to have taken huge strides with his passing mechanics this offseason. He credits Tom House, who has worked as a throwing coach for NFL stars like Tom Brady and Drew Brees, for helping him improve significantly.

“I went and worked out with a guy named Tom House,” Pryor told Raiders.com. “He’s [Tom] Brady and [Drew] Brees’… I’m sure you guys have heard of him, he’s a baseball pitcher. He’s a throwing mechanic freak. He breaks everything down scientifically, and I found out that I was leaving my chest open a lot so it was making me late. So when I was coming down to throw with my left arm, my right arm was saying it’s time to go, the timing wasn’t right.

“He kind of helped me with that. It’s definitely helping shoot the ball a lot more and better. My thing looking in the mirror last year was I need to be more accurate. That’s what it is and somewhere I have got to get there, and I will get there, and I’m getting close I can feel it.”

Pryor, who was known as much for making plays with his legs in college as his arm, said he is throwing the ball better than ever.

“I’m more accurate than I’ve ever been,” he said. “I feel very confident about it.”

As Pryor mentioned, House is a former baseball player who has worked with guys like Joe Flacco and Carson Palmer in addition to Brady and Brees. His advice is obviously valued highly, so it remains to be seen if the work he has done with Pryor will turn him into an NFL starter. At age 24, Pryor certainly has plenty of time to prove himself.

Matt Leinart: I deserve to start

Matt-Leinart-RaidersCarson Palmer is scheduled to miss this weekend’s game between the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers after suffering cracked ribs and a bruised lung on Sunday. That means either Matt Leinart or Terrelle Pryor is in line for his first start of the season. Rather than naming a starter earlier in the week, Raiders head coach Dennis Allen has decided to let Leinart and Pryor compete for the spot.

The former USC star does not sound overly thrilled about that.

“I just think in this situation, I think I deserve to play, I deserve to start,” Leinart said according to CBSSports.com. “Not sure what’s going to happen, but that’s all you can do — just keep preparing, keep working hard, be here, be accountable and whatever happens, whatever decision is made, that’s what’s made. You can’t do anything about it.

“So if they want to start Terrelle and evaluate him and see what he can do, then I’ll support that, and I’ll help him this week and help him during the game. But if they make me the starter, I’m just going to go out there and try to capitalize on that opportunity.”

Leinart handled most of the work after Palmer went down in Carolina, and he didn’t exactly make a strong case to be handed the starting job in Week 17. He completed 16 of 32 passes for 115 yards and an interception and finished with a passer rating of 45.7. Pryor took only two snaps.

The difference between Leinart and Pryor is that we know Leinart’s days of being an everyday NFL starter are behind him. He proved on multiple occasions that he is incapable of handling that role. Pryor is in only his second season, so we can’t be certain that he won’t morph into a starter. With the playoffs out of reach and one game remaining, the Raiders have nothing to lose by giving him a chance to state his case.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Terrelle Pryor or Matt Leinart to start for Raiders at quarterback

Terrelle Pryor or Matt Leinart is expected to start at quarterback for the Oakland Raiders at the San Diego Chargers in the team’s season finale on Sunday now that Carson Palmer is hurt.

Palmer got hurt during the team’s Week 16 loss to the Carolina Panthers and is out with cracked ribs and a bruised lung. Raiders head coach Dennis Allen says Palmer was in the hospital for observation after the team returned to Oakland Sunday night, and that he is out for the game.

Leinart was 3-for-3 for 31 yards passing in place of Palmer on Sunday. Pryor completed a pass, caught a pass, and ran for two yards in his action.

“I think we’ll stick with Matt and Terrelle for this week,” Allen said Monday. “We’ll get both those guys reps in practice with the first-team this week.”

Allen wants to see how the two perform in practice during the week before naming a starter.

“We’re not ready to make that decision. Our plan is to work both of them this week and then we’ll see how practice goes. Later in the week we’ll be ready to name a starter.”

Allen said that he thought Pryor “did a nice job” on the three plays he had against Carolina. He also called Pryor a work in progress, and indicated the second-year player may not be ready to lead the team.

“I think he’s still a work in progress,” Allen said of Pryor. “He’s worked extremely hard in practice. I don’t know that he has full command of everything that we’re doing, but I wouldn’t expect a lot different out of any other young quarterback. He’s got to continue to work, and he’s done a nice job.”

Allen did cite Pryor’s athleticism as an intriguing factor.

Based on what the coach was saying Monday, if I had to make a guess, I’d say Leinart will probably start the game, with Pryor still seeing plenty of action. What unfolds at practice during the week could change that. If I were Oakland, I would just give Pryor a shot. You know Leinart is only a second-string QB in the league, so why not give Pryor some game experience to see what he can do?

Below is video of Allen’s comments on Monday:

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Terrelle Pryor says he questioned if he even enjoyed football anymore last season

Terrelle Pryor has never thrown a pass at the NFL level. Considering he is entering only his second season, that is not all that uncommon. Many rookies are assigned to clipboard duty throughout their first two or three NFL seasons without seeing the field. Some of them never see it, while others take the opportunity to learn everything they can before becoming an NFL starter. For former Ohio State standout Terrelle Pryor, watching from the Oakland sideline last season was extremely challenging.

“There was a point — and I know it seems crazy — but there was a point I was asking myself if I really loved this game anymore,” Pryor told Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter. “That’s where I was at (emotionally). Throughout the whole season I wasn’t playing, I wasn’t getting no love toward me. I just felt some type of way. I started questioning myself, even though I shouldn’t have. I was like, ‘Do I even love this game? Do I want to play this game? Is this what I want to do?'”

As we know, Pryor left Ohio State early after he was suspended five games for the memorabilia scandal that ripped through the Ohio State program two years ago. Then, he was suspended for five NFL games and missed all but the final week of Raiders training camp when the league ruled that he tried to manipulate the supplemental draft by applying after the deadline. Now that Hue Jackson has been fired, Pryor said he feels rejuvenated.

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Raiders Don’t Want Terrelle Pryor Wearing Jersey No. 2 Because of JaMarcus Russell

The Raiders selected Terrelle Pryor in the third round of the supplemental draft this week and signed him to a four-year deal Thursday night. Pryor is in camp and already practiced with the team Friday. It was the same Terrelle Pryor fans would recognize, only there was one difference — he was wearing a new jersey number. Instead of the No. 2 he wore at Ohio State, the Raiders announced that Pryor will wear jersey No. 6. They have a good reason for the change too.

Raiders beat writer Vittorio Tafur of the San Francisco Chroncile tweeted that “Terrelle Pryor says Raiders coach Hue Jackson won’t let him wear No. 2. JaMarcus Russell was very big, but his ghost is bigger.”

SI’s Jim Trotter tweeted the same news, so it sounds like this is not a joke.

As silly as the reason may seem, it actually makes a lot of sense. JaMarcus Russell was a bust for the franchise. Things got so bad for JaMarcus that even his life coach gave up on him. I don’t think Pryor will amount to much as a quarterback, but it’s understandable why they want to torch the number and expunge the memories.

Hey, if Pryor can’t wear JaMarcus’ jersey number, maybe he can at least buy Russell’s Oakland mansion.