Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor is coming off his worst game of the season, but the performance didn't do anything to change Dennis Allen's long-term projection for the young quarterback.
When asked if he still projected Pryor as the quarterback of the future in Oakland, Allen didn't leave open any room for interpretation.
"Yeah absolutely," Allen said, via the team's website. "I mean you know, I don't think he played as well as he would have liked. But again, he's still a young player -- that was only his fifth start of the season. So he's still got a lot growing to do and a lot of getting better to do, but he's a talented player, and we're going to try and continue to build with him and try to grow with him."
Still upset by his three-interception performance against Kansas City, Pryor shrugged off any talk about being the quarterback of the future.
"I don't like the future-type talk," Pryor said, via Scott Bair of CSN Bay Area. "I think (Allen) is saying it because he wants it to be that way. If I play like I played (Sunday), I won't be around very long. I know that he is telling me that he's on my side. He wants me to be successful and he knows I can help the team. I'm looking back and thinking, I have to protect the coaches. I have a strong connection with them, and I let them down big-time yesterday. That's what I'm ashamed of."
Allen, however, has done more than just say he believes in Pryor long-term. Oakland could have given the starting job to Matt Flynn, based on his inflated salary, but instead opted to start Pryor, even if it meant having a $6 million quarterback on the bench. The Raiders could have also pursued Josh Freeman after he was released. The Vikings signed Freeman despite having Christian Ponder, who they claim is the quarterback of their future. Oakland opted to stick with Pryor and not even bring in competition.
Whether or not Pryor remains the quarterback of the future will depend heavily on how he plays over the final 10 games of the season. The 24-year-old has said and done all of the right things since joining the Raiders and now his play on the field is beginning to show it.