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Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor will start Sunday’s season finale against the Denver Broncos over Matt McGloin, and his agent isn’t happy about it.
Pryor’s agent Jerome Stanley told CSN Bay Area on Monday evening that starting Pryor was the move of a desperate coach setting a young quarterback up to fail.
Dennis Allen is one loss away from a second 4-12 campaign in as many seasons as Raiders head coach, and while owner Mark Davis hasn’t commented directly on Allen's job status, outsiders believe he’s on the hot seat.
Stanley believes there is a connection between Allen's lot and Pryor being given the start. He thinks there is something “nefarious” in Allen’s motive to start Pryor, and that the Raiders are making his client a scapegoat.
"I think they're putting him in hopes that he fails,” Stanley told CSN reporter Fallon Smith and myself. “That's what I think coach is doing. I think they're putting him in hopes that he has a bad game, so he can then justify the Matt McGloin situation. I think that's what's going on, I do and it's ridiculous...
"You have to understand the coach is putting him in, he doesn't want him to look good. And you can write that. He doesn't want him to look good because, if he looks good this week, it makes the past five weeks look like a bad decision. (Allen) doesn't want him to look good, he wants him to look bad. That is what is going on.”
Allen continued playing McGloin after a quality start against the Houston Texans, when Pryor was out with a Grade II MCL sprain. McGloin made five more starts after that, including Sunday’s 26-13 loss to the San Diego Chargers.
Allen announced that Pryor would start the season finale in a Monday press conference to evaluate him further, a decision that was met with surprise. Pryor has been an accent piece at best over the past five games, playing sporadically in that span. He played a series against the New York Jets on Dec. 8 and intermittently against the Kansas City Chiefs. He did not play Sunday at San Diego.
“After they got back from (a Thanksgiving loss to Dallas),” Stanley said, “he should have been reinserted into the starting lineup and been allowed to use the rest of the year to develop so that he could have been ready to go.”
Stanley came out in strong defense of his client throughout a 10-minute conversation. He believes Pryor should have been allowed to develop despite on-field struggles. After his last start Nov. 10 against the New York Giants, Pryor had thrown eight interceptions without a touchdown pass. He struggled at times making reads. The read option proved less effective as the year went on, and defenses identified his penchant for rolling to his right.
His talent and top-end potential, however, is undeniable. The Raiders understand that, which is why Allen said he wanted to evaluate Pryor further next week against the Broncos.
While Stanley believes Pryor will show well when given the opportunity, he doesn’t believe the young quarterback has been given the best chance to succeed.
"I expect Terrelle Pryor to be a successful starting quarterback in the NFL,” Stanley said. “I expect that. I'll be shocked if it didn't happen. Terrelle Pryor is the best and most dynamic athlete in the NFL playing the quarterback position. He also has won games and been productive when given the opportunity. It's not brain surgery. His coach stumbled upon a gem, the find of the season in Terrelle Pryor. He stumbled upon him and then he botched the discovery. It was ridiculous, just ridiculous."
Comcast SportsNet reporter Fallon Smith contributed to this report