QB controversy in Oakland?
Terrelle Pryor led the Raiders to 20 points in five drives; Matt Flynn produced zero points in four. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
Matt Flynn’s struggles were easily excused last week at New Orleans with the O-line in shambles. Not so against the Bears. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
A good night’s rest and a morning’s film dissection didn’t change Dennis Allen’s opinion of the Raiders quarterback play.
The team’s head coach was still impressed by Terrelle Pryor and disappointed in Matt Flynn.
[RELATED: Pryor creates quarterback controversy]
Exactly how that will impact practice reps and game action prior to naming a starter remains in question.
“That’s a position we’re continuing to evaluate,” Allen said Saturday on a conference call.
The Raiders haven’t evaluated Pryor with the first unit. Outside of two drives at the end of the first half during Friday’s exhibition, Pryor has been a second teamer. Even in practice, he’s never worked with the starters.
Before Friday night, starting Pryor wasn’t a serious consideration. After a sterling performance against the Bears, Pryor made it one.
Allen is considering a split of first-team reps, but wouldn’t commit to it.
“I think we’re going to look at that a little bit,” Allen said, “but we’ll see as the week goes on the direction we go there.”
Allen praised Pryor’s ability to make plays just as he did Friday night.
He also stripped an excuse from Flynn’s performance by praising improved offensive line play. Flynn’s struggles were easily excused last week at New Orleans with the line in shambles. Not so against the Bears.
[REWIND: Run defense gutted in loss to Bears]
“Overall, I was pleased with the way the offensive line played,” Allen said. “You come out of these games and there are always going to be things that you want to work on and things that you’ve got to correct. But, I thought, coming off the New Orleans game, I thought they played a lot better in this game.”
Allen is giving himself time to choose his starting quarterback. His only deadline: the regular season opener on Sept. 8. Allen will likely make that choice prior to formal preparations leading up to that game at Indianapolis.
“I think the competition has been good,” Allen said. “Both of them, at times, have looked good. I think Terrelle has an element with his athletic skill that lends to some playmaking ability, so I want to make sure we put him in those positions to give him a chance to have success. I think we’ll continue to do that.”
Darren done this preseason? In short, probably. The Raiders running back sat out Friday with a minor shoulder injury, and it’s possible he’ll skip Thursday’s exhibition finale at Seattle, as he was expected to do if fully healthy.
“I wouldn’t expect to see much of him, but we’ll look at him and how he does this week in practice,” Allen said. “Our primary goal as we finish out this preseason is to make sure that we’re ready to go for the regular season in the opener against Indianapolis. I’m going to do whatever we feel like we need to do to make sure our team is as healthy as it can be and in the best position to have success at Indianapolis.”
Breaking down the run D: The Raiders can’t contain running backs between the tackles. Allen believes that hinders the defense’s ability to do much of anything against the run. There are too many cutback lanes, options for running backs to gain extra yards.
“We have to keep the ball contained,” Allen said. “We have to set edges in the defense, we have to make the ball run up inside. I don’t think that anything happened in that game that was a physical, a deal where we just got knocked around. I think what it all boils down to at the end of the day is we have to get 11 guys to do their job and do their job on every play. We have to get 11 guys that fly around to the football and that’s going to be a point of emphasis this week.”
-- WR Rod Streater must pass several tests as part of the NFL’s protocol on concussion-related injuries.
-- CB Tracy Porter (groin) is expected to practice Sunday in a limited role.
-- TE David Ausberry (shoulder) won’t practice this week, but the Raiders hold out hope he’ll be ready for the regular season. Ausberry was a frontrunner to start at tight end before the injury.
-- RG Mike Brisiel could return to practice this week. He’ll be evaluated further on Sunday.
Notable quotes from Allen's conference call:
How did CB DJ Hayden hold up?
Coach Allen: I thought he held up OK. I thought initially, early in the game, I thought he was a little rusty. You could tell it was the first time that he had played in a football game in awhile. I thought after probably the first series or so, I thought he settled down a little bit and played a little better.
How did Alex Barron fare this week?
Coach Allen: He was better in this game. I thought there was some improvement in this game. Obviously there are still a lot of things that we’ve got to continue to work on, but I thought he was better in this game. I thought, overall, I was pleased with the way the offensive line played. You come out of these games and there are always going to be things that you want to work on and things that you’ve got to correct. But, I thought, coming off the New Orleans game, I thought they played a lot better in this game.
Did WR Jacoby Ford’s kickoff return open your eyes a little bit in terms of being able to produce like he did? Is WR Josh Cribbs still a point of concern for you?
Coach Allen: Obviously I thought Jacoby was explosive on that return. Really, since I’ve been here, I haven’t really been able to see what Jacoby Ford can do because he’s missed a lot of time due to injuries. That was good to see him get out there and show some of that explosiveness that I know he has. We’ve got to continue to work from a wide receiver standpoint. He’s missed a lot of time at camp this year so he’s a little rusty as far as that’s concerned. You definitely see the explosiveness and I think that’s something we have to consider moving forward.
What’s the plan for Tyler Wilson heading into the last week?
Coach Allen: The plan was to get him a series or two at the end of that game the other night, but we felt that the way things were going; Matt (McGloin) had moved us down the field and gotten us a touchdown and I wanted to give him another opportunity to see what he could do. We’ll see this week how the plan plays out, as far as being able to get in the game, and letting him show what he can do.
How did punter Marquette King do last night?
Coach Allen: The first punt, I would have rather had a touchback on the first punt. He kind of mishit the other one. I don’t think either one of the punters punted the ball all that great. I think Chris (Kluwe) is a little bit ahead of Marquette right now, as a holder. I think that’s going to have something to do with the decision that we make. I think it’s still a good competition that we have going there and I anticipate the same plan going into this last week of the preseason: let these guys alternate and see who comes out on top.