OAKLAND — Terrelle Pryor started taking snaps with the first-team offense about three weeks ago after spending most of training camp as Matt Flynn's backup. Chad Henne has shuffled in and out of the starting lineup almost every year of his NFL career, and he began the regular season behind Blaine Gabbert.
Suddenly, both are starting — and it's only Week 2.
That pretty much sums up the state of the Raiders (0-1) and Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) right now. Two of the NFL's worst franchises the past few seasons are each counting on their quarterback to spark change, starting today when Pryor and the Raiders host Henne and the Jaguars at O.co Coliseum.
Pryor beat out Flynn in training camp with some eye-popping plays and wowed with his arm and his legs in a 21-17 loss at Indianapolis in the season opener. He completed 19 of 29 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown — with two interceptions — and set a Raiders franchise record for rushing by a quarterback with 112 yards on 13 carries.
The former Ohio State standout will be making his third career start, second this season and first at home.
“It's going to be electric this time instead of trying to quiet another team's crowd,” Pryor said. “So I'll feed off it and it's just going to get me even more excited and it's going to get me on my game.”
Henne, a second-round pick out of Michigan by the Miami Dolphins in 2008, is 14-23 as a starter. He's back in the lineup because Gabbert sliced the back of his throwing hand on a defender's facemask in the closing minutes of a 28-2 loss to Kansas City last week, when the offense managed a league-low 178 yards and no points. It's unlikely Henne will remain the starter when Gabbert returns.
But he's hoping a strong performance could give new Jaguars coach Gus Bradley something to consider.
“My job is to play as well as I can and hopefully just keep the job,” Henne said. “That's how I'm going to play it. I'm going to prepare as the starter, play my best and show the coaches that I can get the job done.”