Why the Oakland Raiders Must Let Terrelle Pryor Start

It appears that new Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson is prepared to undo one of the errors of his predecessor, one that led to the Raiders ranking 18th in the NFL in rushing in 2012.

While he's at it, Olson should make an even bigger change. One that carries with it significant risk but gives the Raiders the best chance of moving forward after years of mismanagement.

It's time for Terrelle Pryor to start at quarterback.

The first switch Olson is making, according to Eric Gilmore of Bay Area Sports Beat, is abandoning the zone-blocking technique implemented by previous offensive coordinator Greg Knapp in favor of the power-blocking scheme the team employed previously.

"Initially, maybe a year ago, they weren’t sure about that zone scheme. Now, after a year of having to look at it, hey, maybe he [Darren McFadden] is a downhill runner. So we’ll get back to some of the gap scheme and the things he does well."

This news should inspire elation in Raiders fans. Simply put, the zone-blocking scheme was an absolute disaster in 2012. After averaging more than five yards a carry in both 2010 and 2011, McFadden's yards per tote plummeted to 3.3 a year ago.

Now Olson and head coach need to keep that momentum going by giving Terrelle Pryor the keys to the offense.

Olson told Steve Corkran of Bay Area News Group, "There has to be competition at every position," including quarterback, but there are a couple of reasons why the Raiders are best served making that competition between Pryor and someone else and severing ties with Palmer altogether.

The first is Palmer's onerous salary for 2013. The Raiders are in one of the most precarious salary cap situations in the league, and Palmer is set to make $13 million this year.

That's $13 million for a 33-year-old quarterback with 30 interceptions and a losing record since joining the Raiders.

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