In light of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick taking the NFL by storm the past week, it seems reasonable that the Raiders might consider taking a look at second-year quarterback Terrelle Pryor at some point.
Unquestioned starter Carson Palmer is way down the list of things Raiders coach Dennis Allen has to worry about, even though people are quick to blame Palmer for the team’s 3-8 record.
Yet, Allen said Monday that he and his coaches have “discussed” the possibility of taking a look at Pryor in some capacity. It’s unclear whether that might be at quarterback or in some kind of special package that takes advantage of Pryor’s impressive combination of size, speed and elusiveness.
“He’s working to get better and he’s working to improve,” Allen said of Pryor. “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.”
Pryor wasn’t available for comment Monday.
Pryor hasn’t been active for any of Oakland’s first 11 games. He has yet to attempt a pass in a regular-season game since he joined the Raiders before the 2011 season.
He showed glimpses of what he can do at quarterback during some of the Raiders exhibition games, both with his feet and his strong arm.
Palmer turns 33 on Dec. 27, and he is under contract through 2016. He has passed for 3,181 yards and is within reach of Rich Gannon’s single-season record (4,689 in 2002).
Before long, though, the Raiders need to decide whether Pryor is worthy of being Palmer’s successor or if there’s some way to use him other than as the full-time quarterback.
— Allen said he is hopeful of running backs Darren McFadden (ankle) and Mike Goodson (ankle) and defensive tackle Richard Seymour (hamstring) returning to practice this week. All three players missed the past three games.
— Allen and his coaches will continue to look at ways to get things turned around in the face of four straight losses.
That process will continue in earnest Tuesday in advance of the first practice for the upcoming game against the Cleveland Browns.
“We got to look at any options,” Allen said. “Again, we’re all accountable to getting this thing corrected and getting it done right. Players and coaches, we’ve all got to be held accountable. We’ve got a standard that we uphold ourselves to and we haven’t lived up to that standard yet.”
Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly said he is having a hard time comprehending how the Raiders went from 8-8 and one win shy of the AFC West title last season to a team that is floundering.
“It’s been mind-blowing,” Kelly said. “I would have never, in my wildest dreams, thought we would be 3-8 right now.”
When asked the reason why, Kelly didn’t mince words.
“A whole multitude of things,” Kelly said. “Defense, offense, special teams, the whole team, as a whole, has not gotten the job done. We just got to play a little better over the last five weeks.”
— The Raiders pass defense remains a huge issue, with Bengals second-year quarterback Andy Dalton the latest to have his way against the Raiders.
Dalton completed 16 of 30 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns, without any interceptions.
Opposing quarterbacks combined for 23 touchdowns and a 101.9 passer rating in 11 games against the Raiders this season. The Raiders are last in the league in both categories, and they are near the bottom in average yards allowed per game and completion percentage.
— Rookie linebacker Kaelin Burnett played four snaps on special teams Sunday, one day after he was signed to the 53-man roster from the Raiders practice squad.
Burnett is the 11th Raiders player to make his NFL debut this season: offensive linemen Tony Bergstrom and Alex Parsons, defensive linemen tackle Christo Bilukidi and Jack Crawford, linebackers Miles Burris and Carl Ihenacho, wide receivers Juron Criner and Rod Streater, running back Jeremy Stewart and cornerback Brandian Ross are the others.