Week 2 of the 2013 NFL season is rapidly approaching with the Oakland Raiders set to face off against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars in their home opener. Although the Raiders are coming off a loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1, Oakland showed signs of promise while being led by quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
With Pryor showing a versatile skill set in Week 1, the up-and-coming quarterback have created quite a buzz in Oakland. Pryor has given hope to the struggling franchise, but his style of play is risky to say the least.
Last season, rookie gunslinger Robert Griffin III burst onto the scene with the Washington Redskins. Griffin’s exciting style kept defenses on their heel and made the Redskins offense extremely difficult to defend. Unfortunately, despite the Redskins winning the NFC East and making it into the playoffs, Griffin suffered multiple injuries due to his ability make plays with his feet and suffered a torn ACL in the postseason.
Pryor took notice of Griffin’s knee injury last year and knows the dangers and risks of being a mobile quarterback via Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com:
“I need to be smarter and get down, slide or get out of bounds,” Pryor said. “Look at RG III. He’s running around a ton and in that playoff game a hit just got him. All those hits keep adding up, adding up. After a while, you’re going to take a hit you’re not used to, or you’ll take a hit where your body is weak and you’ll go down.”
As a result of Pryor’s mobility, the Ohio State product was able to set a franchise record for rushing yards by a quarterback last week with 112. Not only did Pryor set the mark for the Raiders, but he’s currently second in the NFL in rushing yards behind LeSean McCoy of the Philadelphia Eagles (184).
If it weren’t for McCoy’s big night at the expense of Griffin and company on Monday night, Pryor would be leading the league in rushing heading into Week 2.
Obviously, Pryor’s style of play is not sustainable. A lot of young quarterbacks have had success with their mobility over the past few years with Griffin, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton all emerging as legitimate stars in this league. Despite that being the case, all four of the quarterbacks mentioned above have better offensive line situations in comparison to the Raiders.
Running too much may begin to take its toll on Pryor in the coming weeks with opposing defenses focusing on containing the rising star in the ground game. Pryor played well in the passing game, outside of the two costly interceptions, but he’ll need to improve in that category in order to avoid risking injury on a weekly basis.