By Steve Corkran
Saturday, May 11th, 2013 at 3:34 pm in Oakland Raiders.
ALAMEDA – As far as rookies go, quarterback Tyler Wilson looked nothing of the sort Saturday as he displayed the poise and skills of a seasoned veteran in only his second practice as a member of the Raiders.
Wilson showed off a strong arm, placing balls right on target time and again, be it swing passes, throws over the middle or well downfield.
“Obviously, picking up a new system, there’s a little bit of rust there,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said of Wilson. “But throwing the ball, he’s done a nice job. I don’t have any question about his arm strength and his accuracy.”
If anything, it’s the receivers that are going to have to adjust to the velocity on Wilson’s throws. Several times, laser-like throws went through or off a receiver’s hands.
Wilson arrived as a fourth-round draft pick out of Arkansas, with a reputation for being a bright guy, confident in his abilities and ready to take on any challenge.
It’s not a stretch to envision Wilson playing well enough to surge past presumptive starter Matt Flynn and third-year player Terrelle Pryor at some point, even if he downplays the situation.
“It’s an opportunity,” Wilson said after practice. “Obviously, there’s a lot I have to learn. … I’ve got a lot of work to do to get up to speed because there have been veteran guys that have been here that are way ahead of me right now. So, I’m playing catch-up from that point.”
The Raiders traded for Flynn earlier this offseason on the same day that they traded starter Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals. Flynn has started only two games during his five-year NFL career. Pryor started the regular-season finale in 2012 for his only start.
Through it all, Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie refuse to anoint Flynn the starter, going only so far as to say that Flynn will begin with the first-team offense.
Allen and McKenzie want competition at all positions. To that end, Wilson is game.
“I do think I can bring some things to the table skill-set wise,” Wilson said. “But, again, I’ve got to play catch-up at this point. I’m going to use it as an opportunity and compete like heck.”