The Oakland Raiders have addressed many of their most crucial needs this off season through the free agent market by signing three corner backs, a pass rushing defensive end and an offensive lineman. They have not, however, addressed the position that arguably had the most detrimental impact on the team last season. That position, of course, is the back up quarterback position.
When Jason Campbell went down for the season, it seemed like the Raiders just could not recover. Back up Kyle Boller showed that he may not have been the best of choices as a back up and looked terrible in the time he played in replacement of Campbell. Then, the Raiders overpaid and traded for Carson Palmer, despite the fact that Palmer had not played at all that season and was not in football shape. While Palmer had promising moments, he struggled to find consistency, and the Raiders once again failed to make the playoffs despite looking almost like guaranteed to get in before Campbell went down.
Well, as it turns out, the Raiders may not have addressed the back up quarterback position because they think the number two guy is already on the roster. In a pre draft press conference, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said that Pryor is a viable candidate for the position and that the coaching staff will need to see what Pryor can do before deciding whether to look for a number two or a number three quarterback in the free agent market.
This is big for two reasons. First, the fact that the Raiders are willing to wait on such an important position means that Pryor may be more viable as an NFL quarterback than many believe he is. Pryor does not have any NFL game film for McKenzie to have looked at, so the only thing McKenzie had to judge him on was his college game film. McKenzie has been touted as an expert at evaluating young talent, and the fact that he is willing to wait and see what his coaches think of Pryor before signing a quarterback could mean that he saw a potential back up in that college game film.
The other reason this is significant is because the way the Raiders address the need for depth at quarterback will be a direct commentary on what the new coaching staff thinks of Pryor. If the Raiders go out and sign someone like Matt Leinart, at the least it means Pryor is not ready, and it could mean that he never will be. If they go sign a clear third quarterback, then Raiders fans might be able to start getting a little bit excited about the prospect of Terrelle Pryor.