By Steve Corkran
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 at 6:44 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The restless contingent that feels as if Terrelle Pryor seized the starting quarterback job from Matt Flynn is going to have to wait awhile longer to find out if Raiders coach Dennis Allen arrives at the same conclusion.
Allen said Saturday that his deadline for deciding between Pryor and Flynn is “sometime before the first game” Sept. 8, when the Raiders play the Indianapolis Colts in the regular-season opener.
In the interim, Allen said, Pryor will get more reps with the first-team offense in practice in the run up to the Raiders exhibition finale against the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night as a result of how well he played against the Chicago Bears on Friday night.
Allen said he hasn’t decided yet who is going to start against the Seahawks and whether both will play. Flynn started Oakland’s first three exhibition games, with Pryor the first of the three other quarterbacks on the roster off the bench all three times.
Projected starters typically play little, if any, in the final exhibition game. However, it’s conceivable that Allen will play both Thursday and use their performance as a final piece of the evaluation process before settling upon a starter.
Watching the tape of the Raiders 34-26 loss to the Chicago Bears on Friday night didn’t do anything to change Allen’s initial assessment, he said.
“Terrelle came in and really added a spark to us offensively,” Allen said. “He moved us down the field; he was able to put some points on the board, so that was really good to see out of him.”
Pryor completed 7 or 9 passes for 93 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for 37 yards, including 25 on a run that yielded another touchdown.
Flynn completed 3 of 6 throws for 19 yards and no touchdowns. Two of his passes were intercepted. He also fumbled a snap.
“I don’t think Matt played as well as he or we would have liked for him to play,” Allen said.
Most teams long ago decided their starting quarterback. Even so, it’s not unprecedented for teams to take this long to name a starter.
Naturally, Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie would prefer to have a clear-cut starter at the most important position. That’s simply not the case as a result of the way Flynn and Pryor played since training camp started, in particular against the Bears.
“We got to continue to get better, we got to keep moving forward,” Allen said, “and that’s a position that we’re still continuing to evaluate.”
– Rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden “was a little rusty” in his Raiders debut, Allen said. “You could tell it was his first time he played in a football game in awhile.”
Hayden played Friday night for the first time since he suffered a near-fatal injury last November during a practice for the University of Houston.
– Wide receiver Rod Streater won’t be back on the practice field until he passes the mandatory tests for players that suffer a concussion. He suffered his against the Bears.
– Allen said neither Chris Kluwe nor Marquette King “really punted the ball all that great” against the Bears. Kluwe has an edge over King as a holder on field-goal and extra-point attempts and “that will have something to do with the decision we make.”
– Rookie quarterback Tyler Wilson was slated to get some playing time against the Bears, Allen said. Things changed when fellow rookie Matt McGloin played well during his time, and Allen wanted to take a longer look at McGloin.
– Allen said he expects projected starting cornerback Tracy Porter (groin) back at practice Sunday, though in a limited capacity.
– Tight end David Ausberry (shoulder) is showing signs of improvement, and he has a chance to be back in time for the season-opening game, Allen said.