EAST RUTHERFORD N.J. – Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor played Sunday for the first time in four weeks. He orchestrated a field-goal scoring drive on the Raiders third possession, and was subsequently super-glued to the bench.
This cameo was scheduled in advance. A return engagement was nixed.
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Head coach Dennis Allen wanted to mix things up against the Jets defense and use a read-option package ineffective with pocket passer Matt McGloin in the starting lineup.
It was meant to be a change of pace, never a platoon situation. McGloin is the starter and will remain so next week against Kansas City. While Allen left his options open regarding Pryor, he never went back to the athletic quarterback demoted a month back.
“We knew we wanted to give him a series and then evaluate it and see how it went after that,” Allen said. “He was able to move the ball downfield for us and get us a field goal, which was a positive.”
McGloin knew Pryor would play one series at least. Even with that knowledge, McGloin said Pryor’s presence disrupted things a bit.
“Anytime you have quarterbacks coming in and out, especially in cold weather, it gets difficult sometimes,” McGloin said. “But it’s not an excuse or anything like that for the way we played.”
The swap didn't help McGloin. He threw an interception on his first pass after Pryor’s drive. It came on the Raiders’ 7-yard line, and gave New York and easy field goal.
There was no quick hook, not even then. McGloin responded well and played much better as the game wore on. He completed 13-of-21 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns in the second half, closing the window on Pryor’s possible return. Allen said he didn’t consider another quarterback swap. He didn’t want to disrupt McGloin’s rhythm.
“We really had something going there in the second half offensively,” Allen said. “We had some rhythm and some flow and we were able to score points, so we stuck with what we were doing.”
Pryor was 2-for-5 for 20 yards with four yards on three carries in his brief appearance, which occurred at the place where he last played.
Pryor was the unquestioned starter heading into a Nov. 10 game eventually lost to the New York Giants. He kept the severity of a sprained knee from the coaching staff while he hobble through a dismal performance, and then brought it up during a postgame press conference. That decision didn’t sit well with the coaching staff or select teammates, and it also gave McGloin an opening to start full time.
Pryor was inactive Nov. 17 against Houston and a healthy backup during the next two games. Allen said he wanted to further evaluated Pryor – mostly as a change of pace – before the season ended. On Sunday, they gave Pryor a chance.
Pryor’s stay in the post-game locker room was equally short. He was gone for good before the locker room opened to the press.
While McGloin threw an interception, he played well after that. Allen believed inserting Pryor for a series was well-timed.
"We weren't able to do anything offensively over the first couple of series," Allen said. "Then we put Terrelle in and we were able to move the ball down the field and get a field goal. I thought it was a positive move on our part. Obviously, we went back with Matt and we were able to continue to move the ball and score points."