"The first thing is, everybody knows how hard he's working," said the returning John DeFilippo, who was the Raiders QB coach in 2007 and 2008. "He's going to give himself a chance to be a good player in this league, because of his work ethic. He and I are in communication every day. He's a gym rat here in this building. He loves being here, loves talking football, loves being around, playing the game. He's getting better everyday."
Most fans of the NFL can see through these sort of statements as the same tired, cliched coach-speak that's been bandied about professional sports since its inception. However, Pryor was unable to attend rookie OTAs this year and he needs all the work he can get. DeFilippo seems to think Pryor can stay at quarterback, despite the insistence of others that Pryor may have to go the Hines Ward/Ronald Curry route and switch to receiver.
Oakland's top two quarterbacks are Heisman trophy winners, which is not something any other team can say, but neither of them are going to be long-term answers for the Raiders. Carson Palmer is at the end of his prime and Matt Leinart's success at USC never translated to much success in the NFL. However, under OC Greg Knapp's system in Houston last year, Leinart did show flashes of competency before being sidelined with injury. In the very unfortunate and unlikely event that the misfortune which plagued Houston last year should visit the Raiders, Pryor would be in line for playing time. He will have to work very hard and learn the playbook very well to equal the success that T.J. Yates had for the Texans.
That being said, anyone who followed Pryor's collegiate career knows him to be a very athletic player with excellent mobility and good accuracy on short to intermediate routes. If anyone can develop in a system and take advantage of their natural gifts, it's him. He is not prone to boneheaded mistakes, but will (like all young mobile quarterbacks) need to learn to stand in the pocket and deliver. Preseason will be an important time for his development, because if all goes well he will never see the field this year and all Raider fans will be happy to see it. If he has good showings in the preseason, Raider fans and the Raider organization can feel more secure in the future of the QB position.