Terrelle Pryor was much better Thursday night compared to some of his previous performances this preseason, but his efforts weren’t enough given the 21-point deficit Seattle faced when he took over.
Too little too late.
The question now is whether the same is true about Pryor’s hopes of making Seattle’s 53-man roster after failing to make a clear case for himself over the three previous exhibition games.
“I don’t know,” he told reporters when asked to evaluate a preseason in which he posted a 64.2 QB rating while throwing one touchdown pass and two interceptions, one of which came last week against Chicago.
“I was pretty pissed about last week, just having that stupid interception. That was a fluke, just being off the bench and not being in the game for so long. I don’t play football like that. It’s not really my decision to really say what I played like. It’s up to the coaches.”
Pryor’s fate with Seattle will be determined by Saturday afternoon when NFL rosters are trimmed from 75 to 53. Acquired in an offseason trade with Oakland, he was competing with incumbent Tarvaris Jackson to be Russell Wilson’s backup. With Jackson seemingly securing that job, it’s now a matter of whether Seattle will keep Pryor as the third quarterback, no sure thing considering the Seahawks have kept only two of them more often than they’ve kept three.
Thursday’s game could only help his case.
Pryor completed 11 of 17 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown pass, finishing with a 108.5 rating. It was the best performance of a preseason that for Pryor has included some ups and downs.
To review, he helped put Seattle in position to beat Denver with a late drive only to throw an interception in the end zone. The next week he completed only 1 of 4 attempts but had a 44-yard touchdown run against San Diego. Then last week was the low point as Pryor entered the game in the fourth quarter and misfired on his only two attempts, short-arming the first and then heaving up an interception on the second.
Pryor later said that for much of that game he wasn’t aware he was going to play, which could be considered an indictment as opposed to a viable excuse considering the job description of a backup quarterback includes being ready at a moment’s notice.
But as forgettable as that moment was, his 33-yard touchdown pass to receiver Phil Bates on Thursday was an absolute thing of beauty, Pryor manipulating the defense before making a perfect throw.
“I said, ‘Hey Phil, if they’re in this coverage just keep going, don’t stop because I’m going to hold this inside safety and if he stays inside with the tight end, you’re getting the ball and it’s going to be a touchdown,’ ” Pryor said.
It was indeed, that play offering a glimpse of the potential that Seattle has seen in Pryor.
But was it too little too late?