ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Terrelle Pryor remains committed to winning back his job as Oakland’s starting quarterback, even though the Raiders only appear willing to use him in spot situations the remainder of the season.
Talking extensively for the first time in more than three weeks, Pryor said he remains supportive of coach Dennis Allen’s decision to stick with undrafted rookie quarterback Matt McGloin as Oakland’s starter even though the knee injury that originally sidelined Pryor has healed.
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“That’s coach Allen’s deal,” Pryor said. “Whatever his decision is, that’s what it was. I could sit here and say I disagree and this and that but at the end of the day he’s our leader and he’s the one that has to make those tough decisions. He made it and that’s what it is, you know?”
Pryor has made only one brief appearance since playing with a sprained medial collateral ligament against the New York Giants on Nov. 10, and it was a hotly debated one at that.
He quarterbacked the offense for one series in the first half and drove the Raiders down for a field goal. Then Pryor went back to the bench for the rest of the game, even though offensive coordinator Greg Olson said earlier this week the move was meant to provide a spark to the running game.
McGloin threw a costly interception on his first drive back, then Oakland had a punt blocked for a touchdown on its ensuing possession.
Pryor had already left the locker room when reporters were allowed in after the game, and he avoided interview requests earlier this week before talking for nearly 10 minutes while standing in front of his locker.
The 24-year-old said he regrets trying to play through the knee injury, which he suffered a week prior to the Giants game. He also said he made a mistake in blaming his performance against New York on the injured knee.
The knee is healed now and has been for about two weeks, according to Pryor.
Still, he spends the majority of his Sundays on the sideline while McGloin runs the offense.
“I don’t call it lost a job,” Pryor said. “I got hurt, he came in a played well. I don’t call it (losing) my job. But, you know, did he end up playing well and he’s helping the team? However you want to call it.”
Pryor brushed off suggestions that the move is a career setback. If anything, the former Ohio State quarterback hopes to use it as motivation.
Asked if he felt like he needed to keep proving himself to the Raiders after they brought in Matt Flynn to be the starter in the offseason then handed the job to McGloin, Pryor wasn’t as clear with his response.
“You know, I’m just gonna keep getting better and that’s all I can control,” he said. “You guys can definitely write for me what you want and what you guys think. I believe if you’re one of the greatest quarterbacks in the NFL you gotta prove yourself every day. You just gotta work your butt off and control what you can control.”
Allen declined to say when or if the Raiders might use Pryor again. A week ago, he said he wanted to see more of the young quarterback, who was a third-round pick in the 2011 supplemental draft — the final draft selection made by late owner Al Davis.
Both quarterbacks have had limited success this season, raising questions whether the Raiders might look to free agency or the 2014 draft for help.
If that happens, it’s possible Oakland may try to trade Pryor or release him outright.
“With this franchise, it’s a great franchise but at the end of the day it’s something I can’t control,” Pryor said. “I can’t give my input. That’s up to (owner Mark Davis) and (general manager Reggie) McKenzie. That’s up to coach Allen right now.”
Oakland won only three games in Pryor’s eight starts and is just 1-3 since McGloin took over.
Pryor has a higher completion percentage than his counterpart, but has thrown twice as many interceptions (10) as touchdowns (five), while McGloin has passed for six touchdowns and been picked off three times.
“I think they’ve handled it well,” Allen said of his two quarterbacks. “Everybody wants to be the starter and everybody wants to be the guy. But I think they all understand that this is a team football game. We’ve got to do the things that give us the best chance to have success. We feel comfortable with both of those guys.”
Notes: Allen left open the possibility that the Raiders may put oft-injured running back Darren McFadden on injured reserve. “That’s something that we’ve got to consider,” Oakland’s coach said. “He’s close but we’ve got two more games after this so we’ll have to see where we go.” … WR Denarius Moore practiced a third straight day without a setback from his shoulder injury, increasing the likelihood that he’ll play Sunday against Kansas City.