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My Problem with the Raider Nation.
I am a Raiders fan.
I know just as much about the Raiders as is possible to know.
I eat, sleep, and breathe the Raiders.
What I write in this blog isn't some attack on one of the proudest franchises in the NFL, it's just me venting about some of the things I can no longer tolerate.
I'm not going to be friendly.
I'm' not going to hold back.
You've been warned.
The explosive, dynamic quarterback that will lead the Raiders to the promised land with his legs and impressive arm.
The man who will re-define the quarterback position and set the NFL ablaze.
An underdog, getting his second chance with the Raiders, just like Rich Gannon or Jim Plunkett.
The wait for a franchise QB is over.
If you were to research Terrelle Pryor on the twitter of your average Raiders fan, that's what you would be lead to believe.
And I can understand. At points this season, he's been extremely fun to watch.
The 93 yard run versus the Steelers?
How about that time he beat the Chargers in the late, late Monday night game?
With physical intangibles like his, it's easy to think that he could evolve into the most dangerous weapon since Bo Jackson.
But alas... It's not that simple.
Unfortunately, we aren't playing Madden. Players are not guaranteed to develop.
Pryor is such an incomplete product with such a questionable ceiling that it would be insanely foolish to build a team around him.
Allow me to list the reasons.
A. His footwork.
Only intelligent football fans really understand how significant this aspect of the position is. Realistically, every position in the NFL relies on footwork, but none more than the QB... Except maybe Punters and Kickers. But... Really, QB.
Footwork determines everything for a Quarterback.
From their location in the pocket, to their mobility in said pocket, to the way that they throw the ball.
And Pryor? Is god awful at it.
In the pocket, he shuffles his feet almost constantly. Does it help him move around? Sure, but it completely throws off his balance. Watch Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, or Aaron Rodgers in the pocket. They're a different kind of QB? Fine. Watch Russell Wilson. Seeing as he's essentially the only successful running QB in the NFL, watch him in the pocket, even as a rookie, he's shown great poise. Pryor shuffles his feet and focuses on the front seven, completely taking away the deep ball and any consistency as a passer.
I mean, as far as scrambling around in the pocket? He looks great doesn't he?
Well.... as many big plays as it created, it also got him in a lot of trouble. He was sacked thirty times in eight games. I mean, that's almost four sacks a game. I mean twenty-four NFL QBs were sacked less. And you can't blame the injured offensive line, because behind the same line, Matt McGloin, a significantly less mobile QB, has been sacked only five times in six games.
And back to the happy feet issue?
When you throw a football, especially an accurate ball over a great distance? You don't throw it with your arm, you throw it from your hips. If your feet aren't set before you throw, you don't get anywhere near the motion that you would otherwise.
So in the pocket, he's essentially the opposite of Peyton Manning.
That's awful in every way except that I've never seen Peyton Manning break a tackle.
B. His intelligence.
Let's just be honest. He hasn't developed mentally this season. He's thrown 9 straight interceptions since the first quarter touchdown pass... Versus the Chiefs in early October. Since his costly interception against the Colts in week one, Terrelle Pryor has been at his worst when he is forced to read defenses or... ya know... use his brain.
Despite being in his third season, he doesn't have the ability to read defenses or audible.
"Well, it takes a long time to learn"
Um, Matt McGloin is an undrafted rookie who spent most of training camp and the season as the third string QB, and he called an audible in his third start...
In case you're curious? That audible turned into a 63 yard touchdown.
C. His durability.
You can pretty much read into my opinion of RG3 to get this one.
Terrelle Pryor is not a QB who will stand proudly in the pocket and go through his reads.
He's a guy who's going to rely on a quick read and then a run.
And inevitably, his tall, slender frame will lead to injuries.
It already has. A nagging leg injury cost Pryor his job as the starter and realistically has hampered the very little that he brings to the table.
D. How is he going to get better?
How is he going to become a better Quarterback? Is he going to completely relearn how to play the position? Is he going to rethink his footwork?
"Well... He's a project, he needs time to develop"
The Raiders have almost made it to phase two of their rebuilding process... The actual rebuilding part.
With a top five draft pick, and nearly 70 million dollars in free cap space, the Raiders are in position to build their team, and if you're going to build a team, you're going to build it around a Quarterback.
Peyton Manning is a QB you build a team around.
Tom Brady is a QB you build your team around.
Aaron Rodgers is a QB you build your team around.
Would you build your team around a quicker Tim Tebow?
Would you build your team around a QB that may or may not develop over the next three or four years?
No. That's just stupid.
I can understand why fans are so drawn to him. He can physically make plays by himself, something they haven't gotten from Carson Palmer or Jason Campbell. And realistically? They haven't gotten much of anything from any of their quarterbacks. Who's the last QB the Raiders had who could seriously be considered a franchise player?
He made his last start in 2004.
That's almost a decade ago.
Who's started at QB since then?
How about Terrelle Pryor, Matt McGloin, Matt Flynn, Carson Palmer, Jason Campbell, Kyle Boller, Matt Lienart, Bruce Grandkowski, Jamarcus Russell, Charlie Frye, Andrew Walter, Josh McCown, Daunte Culpepper, Aaron Brooks, Kerry Collins, and Marques Tuiasosopo.
Yeah. After that group, no wonder they've mistaken Pryor for their savior.
But here's the thing.
Raiders fans were excited about all of those guys too.
In fact, a lot of the Pryor fans I see these days used to be Jason Campbell fans used to be Jamarcus Russell fans. Yup. Some people just never learn.
The reality is, while Terrelle Pryor has a lot of potential to be an exciting role player, he will never be a franchise quarterback.
Not in the NFL anyway.