By Eric Schmidt

Second-year Oakland Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor is not heading into the 2012 NFL season planning on being the back up quarterback. Speaking to Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times, the former Ohio State quarterback says he doesn’t look at himself as the backup to Carson Palmer and wants to make the most of any opportunity to become the team’s starting signal caller.

“Carson is the starter and he’s going to be the starter. But I don’t put myself as I’m going to be the backup. I mean, I don’t sit around saying,’I want to be a backup, and that’s what I want to be.’ That’s not how I operate. That’s not how I want to be. I’m going to work to play. And Carson’s always played well and always will. Whenever the opportunity comes for me to play, I’ll play,” Pryor told the Times.

The current coaching staff has nothing invested in Pryor. Pryor was the last player ever chosen by former owner Al Davis in the 2011 supplemental draft. He does possess an interesting skill set but he needs significant work in order to think about becoming a starting quarterback in the NFL.

Pryor is currently buried on the team’s depth charter behind another former USC quarterback, Matt Leinart. Pryor will have to battle Leinart for the number two spot heading into the 2012 season. Pryor has been putting in the time this offseason and according to Raiders quarterback coach John DiFilippo, he is showing some significant progress.

“The first thing is, everybody knows how hard he’s working. He’s going to give himself a chance to be a good player in this league, because of his work ethic. He and I are in communication every day. He’s a gym rat here in this building. He loves being here, loves talking football, loves being around , playing the game. He’s getting better every day,” DiFilippo told reporters.

Matt Leinart has had a rocky career in the NFL so there is an outside shot at some point this season, Pryor could overtake him on the depth chart behind Carson Palmer.






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