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Pryor's progress will be watched closely this offseason

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Posted Jan. 06, 2012 @ 5:24 a.m. ET
By Eli Kaberon

Even with no games on the schedule, the next six months may be the most important of Terrelle Pryor's career. The Raiders' quarterback was a nonfactor in his first season with the team, as he was active in only one game and did not take a single snap. Now, as the 2012 offseason kicks off, we hear his development will be monitored closely by the coaching staff as he prepares to take a larger role in the offense next year.

No rookie had the benefit of working with coaches last offseason, as the NFL lockout resulted in the cancellation of OTAs and delayed the start of training camp. Pryor was even further behind, for a variety of reasons. As an entrant into the league's supplemental draft, the QB didn't even become a Raider until Aug. 22, making him at least a month behind all of the other first-year players who were able to report to camp on time. Then, because of his off-field violations while a player at Ohio State, he was suspended for five games, meaning an even greater distance developed between Pryor and other rookies. Considering that Pryor was raw to begin with and that it was going to take some time for him to develop as a quarterback, it was no surprise his impact in 2011 was nonexistent.

According to a team insider, Pryor was not ready to play in the NFL this season, which explains why he didn't even come in for occasional mop-up duty in place of Carson Palmer or as a 'Wildcat' quarterback to use his elite speed and athleticism. There was also some discussion within the team about moving Pryor to receiver, but that, too, was rejected by the staff. Instead, Pryor sat and watched, while also working with the scout team in practice.

As Jason Campbell gets ready to depart for a team where he can compete for a starting job and Kyle Boller also prepares to hit free agency, Pryor is the only other quarterback on the roster besides Palmer. The insider reports that the coaching staff will work extensively with the 22-year-old in the coming months to improve his throwing motion, develop his ability to read defenses and improve his all-around skill set as he prepares to be the team's primary backup next season.

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