Al Davis‘ impact on the Raiders’ organization still isn’t over, even nearly two years after his death.
After a competitive quarterback competition this summer, Terrelle Pryor, Davis’ final draft pick before his death, was named the Raiders’ opening day starter, according to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle. Pryor, who was selected with a third-round pick in the 2011 supplemental draft, gets the nod over veteran quarterback Matt Flynn, who struggled with control of the offense at times this preseason.
Head coach Dennis Allen broke the news to both quarterbacks on Monday morning, according to the report, just hours after telling Bay Area media that he wouldn’t disclose his starting quarterback just yet. This is the second consecutive season that Flynn lost a quarterback competition to a younger player. Last season, Flynn was beaten out by then rookie Russell Wilson for the Seahawks’ starting job.
Pryor’s athleticism and ability as a runner may have fed into Allen’s decision, as the third-year player is more fit to run an option-style offense than Flynn — a more prototypical pocket passer. Pryor did struggle with his accuracy at times this preseason, completing just 17 of 32 passes for 221 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, but he was able to create opportunities on the run, carrying the ball 14 times for 131 yards and a touchdown. With a backfield featuring Pryor and a healthy Darren McFadden, opposing defenses will have quite a challenge containing the speed of the Raiders’ offense this season.
Pryor will face a tough test in his first career start, leading the Raiders into Indianapolis for a showdown with Andrew Luck and Colts on Sunday afternoon.