Monday, April 8, 2013

Raiders slight of Terrelle Pryor is Troubling

23-year-old Terrelle Pryor started his first regular season game as a pro last season against the Chargers and scored three times in the red zone - two passes and one run for a TD (see highlights of the Charger game to the right). However, now that the Raiders have acquired perennial bench warmer, unproven, Matt Flynn, it's as if Pryor does not exist. At LSU, Flynn started only one year, his 5th and final year - he was a 5th-year-senior. He backed up Aaron Rogers at Green Bay (that's understandable), and backed up rookie Russell Wilson last season at Seattle. Flynn is a career backup and that trend started in college. Since his arrival in the Bay Area, neither Raider management, coaching staff, NFL media, or even Raider fans, have uttered a word about Pryor.

Here's a guy who stands 6'6", runs a 4.38 in the 40-yard-dash (faster than RG3, for what its worth), and is a quicker version of Cam Newton. He avoids the rush quite well, and he's more elusive and durable than his lean frame suggest. In Pryor's one regular season start, he proved he could move the chains, could score touchdowns, rather than field goals in the red zone, and showed leadership qualities. Granted, Flynn played well in his one and only start in GB, and the Seahawks threw the bank at him. Why didn't teams throw the bank at Pryor as they did with Matt Flynn?

Carson Palmer has never been a leader, has a history of turning the ball over when the game is on the line, and does not take charge on the field, on the sidelines, or in the locker room. As an NFL QB, all you ever hear people talking about is his arm strength, which doesn't amount to a hill of beans if you're throwing the ball to the opponent. Yet Carson was immediately picked up by the Arizona Cardinals, who released Kevin Kolb, who was immediately picked up by the Buffalo Bills.

Matt Flynn was awarded a $19 million dollar, 3-year contract with the Seahawks - $10 million guaranteed, based on ONE GAME. He lost the starting job in Seattle before he ever set foot on the regular-season-field, to a rookie, and promptly returned to his comfort zone - the BENCH.

Flynn would probably return to the bench if the Raiders gave Pryor a fair shot at the starting job. Unfortunately for Terrelle, there are not too many NFL head coaches like Pete Carroll out there, who allowed the best performer, regardless of salary, to be his starter. The Raider staff will not follow suit, for 3 reasons: (1) Raider General Manager, Reggie McKenzie, worked as Director of Player Personnel with the Green Bay Packers when Flynn backed up Aaron Rogers. (2) He has to start Flynn otherwise his acquisition of him would have been for naught, which would make McKenzie's decision look foolish (which it was). (3) Flynn will make $5.2 million this upcoming 2013-14 season while Pryor will make $465,000.

I've been a Raiders fan for over 40 years but seeing how they are about to snowball, blackball, disrespect, slight, abuse (whatever you want to call it), Terrelle Pryor, I hope Matt falls on his face. Nothing personal. I hope the Raiders have the worst record in the NFL, because this is going to be a sacrificial season.

I do not wish ill-will (sports only, not life) on the Raiders and Flynn out of spite. An 8-8 season (which would be a good year for us considering all the changes) will not get us in the playoffs.

We're not going to beat Denver and will have a tough time against KC. We could beat the Chargers, but that's not a given. Therefore, rather than go 8-8, or 7-9, or even 6-10, we need a 1-15 or 2-14 season so we will have a shot at the number one pick in the 2014 draft. The next great defensive game-changer since Prime Time, Jadaveon Clowney will be the number 1 or 2 overall pick in that draft. We need Clowney in Silver and Black.

Furthermore, when the upcoming 2013-14 season turns out to be a major bust, most of the blame will fall on the QB. So it's probably a blessing for Pryor that he won't be the starting signal-caller for the Oakland Raiders.