Pryor backs off agent's critique, 'happy' for opportunity to start
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP)
Terrelle Pryor backed off comments his agent made accusing the Oakland Raiders of putting him in a position to fail by putting him back in the starting lineup for Sunday's season finale against Denver.
Agent Jerome Stanley told CSN Bay Area on Monday night he believed coach Dennis Allen hopes Pryor struggles as starter on Sunday to justify the decision to play Matt McGloin the past five weeks — even after Pryor recovered from a sprained knee.
The Raiders (4-11) lost all five games after McGloin won his debut start in place on an injured Pryor, extending their streak of non-winning seasons to 11.
Pryor apologized on Twitter and in a conversation with Allen for the comments shortly after they came out.
''I'm happy that coach Allen gave me this opportunity,'' Pryor said Tuesday. ''I know for a fact the man coach Allen is, and that doesn't even cross my mind as a possibility. I know he wants to win. All he talks about is winning. We have a good game plan and we're going in to try to beat the Denver Broncos.''
Allen quickly dismissed the accusation from Stanley, calling it the ''stupidest'' thing he has ever heard and that he holds no ill will toward Pryor.
''This isn't the `Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,' this isn't made for TV drama,'' Allen said. ''This is football, and we make our football decisions based solely on that, nothing other than that. I don't really give it a lot of thought. I can't control the ignorance that might come out of somebody else's mouth.''
Pryor started eight of the first nine games for the Raiders, leading the team to three of its four wins with his big-play running ability and improving passing game. He was at his best early in the season, completing 68.3 percent of his passes with four touchdowns, two interceptions and a 97.6 passer rating in his first four starts.
But he struggled after getting beaten up with nine sacks at Kansas City behind a makeshift offensive line. He completed just 50.8 percent of his passes with one touchdown, eight interceptions and a 44.2 passer rating in his last four starts.
He started his final game despite being limited by a sprained knee and then used the injury as an excuse after the game, which he later regretted.
McGloin came in and threw three TD passes and no interceptions to win his debut start at Houston. But the Raiders have lost the last five games as McGloin has thrown eight interceptions in that span.
''We had an opportunity to watch Matt McGloin for six games and now I want to get another opportunity to watch Terrelle go out there and play,'' Allen said. ''Listen, we won three out of the four games we won, (they) have been with Terrelle in there at quarterback. I think we need something that's going to spark the football team and I think this can be something that can spark our team.''
Allen said the move was entirely his decision, although he did discuss it with general manager Reggie McKenzie.
Pryor said he is excited about getting another opportunity to start that he didn't know would come this season.
''I really wasn't sure,'' he said. ''I was just focused on finding ways to get better and whatever happens, happens. You can't focus much on it. It can mess with you if you keep on thinking about it. You just have to keep working on your craft.''
NOTES: The Raiders had all 53 players available for practice for the first time all season. . . . Three players were limited: CB Mike Jenkins (hamstring), RB Jeremy Stewart (ankle, knee) and RG Mike Brisiel (knee).