ALAMEDA — Call it the Colin Kaepernick Effect, due diligence or just plain curiosity, but the Raiders are going into the 2013 season with an open mind when it comes to Carson Palmer or Terrelle Pryor being their starting quarterback.
General manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen are steadfast in their stance that Palmer is the odds-on favorite to be the starter once again.
However, it sounds more and more as if Pryor at least will receive a much longer look than anyone likely envisioned as recently as two months ago.
"In visiting with Dennis and Reggie, I know Reggie's made the statement that there will always be competition," Raiders first-year offensive coordinator Greg Olson said
"I don't ever think you hand anyone a position from season to season or year to year. ... We'll go forward with the direction that the organization sees fit. If they want competition, we'll have competition."
Part of that open-mindedness owes to Pryor playing well enough in his one start last season. The other part comes as a result of Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson taking the league by storm the past two seasons.
Of that quartet, Pryor seems most comparable to Kaepernick based on their builds, speed and skill set. Even so, Olson said he and the Raiders don't know enough about Pryor yet to know how good he can be.
"We'd like to
Olson said it's incumbent upon he and the Raiders discovering whether Pryor can be more than a player that gets featured in a package of plays designed to take advantage of his running ability.
That means seeing if
"That's we'll have to find out with Terrelle Pryor," Olson said. "We know what kind of an athlete he is. We need to find out what kind of decision maker he is. We need to find out if he's a guy that can also sit in the pocket and deliver the ball from point A to point B accurately and on time and making the right decisions. That above all else becomes most important."
Pryor started Oakland's final regular-season game last season and showed enough to warrant closer scrutiny during offseason mini camps, training camp and exhibition games.
Palmer, 33, passed for more than 4,000 yards last season before he suffered broken ribs and a bruised lung against the Carolina Panthers. He is under contract through 2016.
Third-year player Pryor has two more years left on his rookie contract. The Raiders don't have any other quarterbacks on their roster right now. Matt Leinart, the primary backup last season, is an unrestricted free agent.