Did the Raiders Make It Harder for Terrelle Pryor to Win the Starting Job?


The Oakland Raiders traded for Matt Flynn on Monday and shipped Carson Palmer to the desert on Tuesday, basically exchanging a veteran starter for an unproven player with two career starts. The trades were necessary from a monetary perspective, but they also have very real on-field consequences.

Bringing in Flynn to go along with Terrelle Pryor may indicate that the Raiders intend to have a real quarterback competition in 2013. However, bringing in Flynn could just as easily mean that the team doesn’t believe Pryor can be a starter.

It’s entirely possible the Raiders made it harder for Pryor to win the starting job by bringing in Flynn, but easier for him to get on the field and become the starter later in the season. One thing seems certain: The Raiders will use Pryor more even if he’s not a starter.

The problem with any quarterback competition is that the offensive design is often going to heavily favor one of the quarterbacks. An offense that fits Pryor does not fit Flynn and vice versa, which means that the design of the offense is probably going to decide the outcome.

Flynn has primarily played in a West Coast offense, which was the offense the Raiders ran last year. Pryor would fit better in an offense that uses more read-option and deep passing with clearly defined reads. It just makes more sense to have a package of plays for Pryor than it does to design the offense around him and try to have Flynn run it.

Pryor also has a year of experience in the West Coast offense, which means he’ll be able to apply what he already knows and continue to improve as a passer. Pryor is not going to win the job unless he improves throwing the football and it should be easier for him in an offense he is familiar running.

While the West Coast offense might not fit Pryor’s athletic talents as much a read-option heavy offense would, it gives the Raide...

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