Bair on Raiders QBs: It's Flynn's job to lose
Matt Flynn will need a strong training camp to earn the trust of coaches and teammates in his attempt to take control of the Raiders' starting spot. (AP)
Editor’s note: Insider Scott Bair will be providing position-by-position breakdowns each day leading up to Raiders training camp. The full squad will report on Jul 24, with the first practice day scheduled for July 26. Today, Scott focuses on the quarterbacks.
Who they have: Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor, Tyler Wilson, Matt McGloin
Who they lost: Carson Palmer
Looking back: Palmer was the unquestioned starter during one of the best statistical seasons of his career. He was the main offensive weapon and, with the Raiders playing from behind so often, he attempted a career-high 37.6 passes per game. Palmer had 4,018 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions over 15 games to lead the NFL’s No. 8-ranked passing offense. A rib injury kept him out of the regular-season finale and allowed Pryor to make his first professional start. Pryor had mixed results in a loss to the San Diego Chargers, throwing for 150 yards and two touchdowns with a woeful 46.4 completion percentage.
Overall outlook: Flynn enters training camp as the presumptive starter, but he doesn’t have a lock on the job. He’ll need a strong training camp to earn the trust of coaches and teammates in his attempt to take control of a starting spot for the first time in his professional career. Flynn showed promise in a pair of starts with the Green Bay Packers, but he hasn’t made one since 2011 and hasn’t earned a chance to prove himself over the long haul. The sixth-year pro was in a similar spot last year with Seattle, and lost the No. 1 spot to Russell Wilson. The Raiders should give him a chance to start the season, where the job will be secured or lost based on early performance. His arm strength has been questioned, as has his ability to run an offense without a star-studded supporting cast. Pryor and rookie Wilson will be waiting in the wings should Flynn falter.
Camp competition: Flynn unexpectedly lost a starting job during training camp last year with Seattle, but it would take a surprise effort from Wilson or Pryor to do again. During minicamp, coach Dennis Allen said he hadn’t seen a performance worthy of unseating Flynn. There will be a battle for the No. 2 spot between quarterbacks with contrasting styles. Pryor is known as a running quarterback that has long had trouble with accuracy. Wilson is a more conventional, pro-style thrower. He’s still green and is far from reaching what some consider vast NFL potential. While Pryor and Wilson will vie for the No. 1 spot, the real battle is for the No. 2 spot and the right to replace Flynn should he struggle or get injured.
In line photos provided by the Associated Press