With their season going nowhere, the Raiders are discussing the possibility of activating quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
Pryor, the second-year former Ohio State star, has yet to throw a pass in a regular-season game in the NFL and is considered a bit of a project. Though he showed a great arm and quick feet in appearances in exhibition games this summer, Pryor has been inactive for every regular-season game in 2012 and is listed No. 3 on the depth chart behind starter Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart.
But on Monday, Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said he and his coaching staff are pondering the idea of giving Pryor some game action to see what he can do.
According to Steve Corkran of the Bay Area News Group, Allen said he and his coaches have “discussed” using Pryor in some way.
“He’s working to get better and he’s working to improve,” Allen told the media in his Monday news conference. “I’ve seen improvement in Terrelle. He’s gotten better as a quarterback. He’s continued to work. I don’t think any of us feel like he’s the finished product, including himself, but he has worked to improve.”
How Pryor would be used wasn’t specified.
He could be used as a change-of-pace, special-situation quarterback in a wildcat-type formation, or used in some other special package, reported Corkran, in which Pryor’s size, strength and speed could be effective.
Throwing younger quarterbacks into the action has become a trend in the NFL in recent years, from Colin Kaepernick across the bay in San Francisco, to Robert Griffin III in Washington, Andrew Luck in Indianapolis, Cam Newton in Carolina, Russell Wilson in Seattle and Ryan Tannehill in Miami.
As Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle noted, the Raiders could use Pryor in the red zone, where Oakland ranks 29th in the NFL in touchdown production, scoring TDs just 39 percent of the time. Pryor’s ability as a runner could give the Raiders an edge in that area and give defenses something extra to think about.
So far, the Raiders haven’t gotten a thing out of the drafting of Pryor in the third round of the NFL’s supplemental draft in 2011. Not only has Pryor not played a big role, but the Raiders had to give up their third-round pick in the most recent April draft to take him.
The late Al Davis was intrigued by Pryor’s athleticism after watching him play for the Buckeyes, and loved his speed – reportedly 4.38 for his 40-yard dash time on his pro day for NFL scouts.
It’s possible, too, that the Raiders could use Pryor at a different position than quarterback. At 6-foot-6 and 235 pounds, Pryor might also be used as a tight end or receiver.
Allen did not say that Pryor would play this Sunday, when the 3-8 Raiders host the Browns at O.co Coliseum.