With the Oakland Raiders finishing their organized team activities and mini-camp for the 2013 offseason, the next item on the radar is training camp. The team will report to camp in Napa, California July 25, 2013. Raiders 101 will begin our series breaking down all the competition battles at every position from now until then, starting with the quarterbacks.
Much has changed from last season including the quarterback position. The Raiders traded Carson Palmer, who joined Rich Gannon as the only two Raiders' quarterbacks to throw for 4,000 yards in a season, to the Arizona Cardinals. The team acquired Matt Flynn from the Seattle Seahawks to bring in and compete for the starting job. General manager Reggie McKenzie was part of the Green Bay Packers organization that drafted Flynn out of LSU. When the offseason began the Raiders' brass said Flynn would be the starter and that has not changed.
Although at times Flynn has been less than stellar, he still holds an advantage over Terrelle Pryor and Tyler Wilson for the starting job. All three quarterbacks lack significant experience, so training camp will be extremely important in their development. They are all working with new offensive coordinator Greg Olson, which adds another wrinkle to the competition. All three are on level ground as far as the system is concerned.
Pryor started the season finale of 2012 against the San Diego Chargers and showed his strengths and weaknesses. He is an incredible athlete for the position with above average arm strength. He lacks in the accuracy department which is a crucial part of playing quarterback in the NFL. During the offseason workouts, head coach Dennis Allen said Pryor is working hard, but still has a ways to go. Because of his physical ability, Pryor is worth holding onto even without being named the starter. He can be a nightmare for opposing defenses to deal with in certain offensive packages that highlight his ability.
The Raiders selected Tyler Wilson in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He is getting a chance to compete with Flynn and Pryor. His numbers against top quality defenses in the SEC for the 2011 season are eye opening. His biggest adjustment will be executing an NFL offense that is much more complex and detail oriented. During training camp, Wilson will have the opportunity to take advantage of his reps, although Flynn will get the majority. It may not be this season, but with the right development, Wilson can help the Raiders in the future.
Oakland also signed former Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin to a contract as an undrafted free agent. His game took a giant step forward under the tutelage of former New England Patriots offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien in his final college season. He is a work in progress, but could be a candidate to make the Raiders practice squad with a solid showing at camp.
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