ALAMEDA – Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor earned the starting job outright. General manager Reggie McKenzie confirmed that fact during a roundtable with Bay Area reporters Wednesday afternoon. He also said that Matt Flynn’s arm wasn’t fit for full-time duty.
“It may be a combination (of things),” McKenzie said, “but his arm definitely did not fare him well in the preseason.”
Flynn had arm issues the year before in Seattle, when elbow tendinitis hindered his ability to compete with Russell Wilson for the starting job.
McKenzie said Flynn’s arm wasn’t an issue when the Raiders traded for him this offseason.
“If it was,” McKenzie said. “We probably would’ve looked into it deeper.”
Flynn’s arm showed wear and tear over the course of the preseason. He took every first-team rep through the third preseason game against Chicago, which was the final straw. Head coach Dennis Allen shut Flynn down for a week, hoping his arm would recover enough to be a quality backup.
Despite the front put up by Allen, his decision to let Pryor start had already been made.
McKenzie wasn’t in the room when the quarterbacks were told Pryor would start, but he understood Flynn’s obvious disappointment.
“He knew that his arm was giving him problems,” McKenzie said. “I know he can’t be shocked too much with that.”
McKenzie also believes Flynn’s arm will allow him to step in and start should Pryor get hurt.
“He’s not throwing the ball not nearly as much as he was with the No. 1s in camp,” McKenzie said. “Just like anyone who throws the ball, whether it be a quarterback or pitcher, the less you throw the stronger the arm gets. It’s not the fact that he can’t throw at all. It’s about how much he can throw and how strong it is.”