Raiders head coach Dennis Allen made it clear in December that he wanted to get QB Terrelle Pryor on the field, and that a package of plays was set up for Pryor. The former Ohio State star finally got his opportunity — in Week 17, as a starter in place of Carson Palmer, not as a gimmick, but it could have been a glimpse into the near future for the Raiders as opposed to long-term.
GM Reggie McKenzie said on Sirius XM NFL Radio this week that Pryor will have a chance to compete to start during training camp.
“He needs to see if he can take a game over in the preseason, make some plays and carry out a game plan. Let him compete. That’s what it’s all about,” McKenzie said. “If it looks like he can help us win, at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. That’s what we want.”
Pryor completed 13-of-28 passes for 150 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in the season-finale loss to the Chargers. He also rushed for 49 yards and a score on nine carries. Palmer injured his ribs the previous week and has struggled at times since joining Oakland — he has thrown 35 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in 25 games.
Palmer, 33, is due $13 million in 2013 and expected to return, but he may have to fend off Pryor. With a struggling offense, the Raiders saw potential in Pryor, but hadn’t unleashed him until he was forced to start. Seeing what other mobile quarterbacks accomplished around the league in 2012, it makes sense that Pryor — who averaged more than 700 rushing yards per season in three years in college — could make it an interesting summer in Oakland. It also wouldn't be a surprise for the Raiders to draft a quarterback, if McKenzie finds a signalcaller he wants to develop.
The other wild card is the Raiders’ new offensive coordinator, Greg Olson, and his ideas for the offense for 2013, but it’s clear that side of the ball needs to improve after finishing 26th in scoring last season.
Follow Kevin Fishbain on Twitter