Quarterback Carson Palmer blocked Terrelle Pryor's path to the playing field in Pryor's first two NFL seasons. Now that Palmer is gone, Pryor is doing everything he can to show that he is worthy of being the Raiders starter in 2013 and beyond.
"I'm trying to find a way to get better every day, through mechanics, through being sharper on pinpoint accuracy," Pryor said Thursday in Alameda, where he took a break from the team's offseason workout program. "I take those things serious to get better and just for the team overall. I haven't taken a break and probably won't."
Pryor is regarded as one of the hardest workers on the Raiders roster. As evidence, he routinely gathers some of his receivers and works out with them at Laney College in Oakland on off days.
He also has spent considerable time during this offseason working with quarterback coaches in an attempt to refine his footwork, reads and accuracy.
It's all part of Pryor's quest to go from a third-round pick in the 2011 supplemental draft to a starter in the NFL.
The Raiders traded Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals earlier this month. At the same time, they traded for sixth-year quarterback Matt Flynn.
Yet, coach Dennis Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie are hesitant to anoint Flynn the unquestioned starter, even though they invested two draft picks and $6.5 million in Flynn for 2013.
"Whether Carson was going to be here or not, it doesn't matter," Pryor said. "I have to battle."
Allen and McKenzie said there's an "open competition" at quarterback, which makes sense given Flynn started only two games his first five seasons and Pryor one.
Pryor is taking those words to heart.
"Like coach says, 'Cream rises to the top, no matter what. No matter what the position, everyone is going to battle.' ... We need to compete. By competing, you bring out the best in everybody."