ALAMEDA — The Oakland Raiders are ready to get a long look at Terrelle Pryor to see if he can be their quarterback of the future.
Pryor got the nod to start Sunday's season finale in San Diego in place of the injured Carson Palmer. After being deemed not ready to be the backup when Palmer got hurt last week in Carolina, Pryor now gets the chance to make his first career start.
"We know what his strengths are, we know what his weaknesses are," coach Dennis Allen said Friday. "But really, to give him an opportunity to go out in a game, against a division opponent, at their place, and give him a chance to play, it gives us a view into the future."
Allen said he told Pryor and Matt Leinart early in the week that he was leaning to Pryor but wanted to see how practice developed. He said he thought Pryor responded well and now wants to see what his athleticism can bring to a team that has failed to score a touchdown the past two weeks.
Pryor said he's confident he is ready to start his first game since the Sugar Bowl for Ohio State against Arkansas on Jan. 4, 2011, but admitted to having some anxiety.
"I'm nervous. Until the first play I'm going to be nervous," he said. "I'm human like you guys. I'm human like everybody. I just happen to play one of the best sports in the world. I'll be nervous until the first snap."
Pryor was taken in the third round of the supplemental draft in August 2011 by late Raiders owner Al Davis. Pryor missed almost all of training camp and then served a five-game suspension before he could be activated. He got on the field just once as a rookie — committing a false start before his only play — as he needed to work on his footwork and mechanics.
Pryor got a few chances to shine in the preseason but was then inactive the first 11 games of this year. He played briefly the past two weeks in specialty packages. He completed one of two passes for 5 yards, ran the ball once for 2 yards and caught a 22-yard pass.
Pryor said he guarantees he will have no problems with the logistics of quarterback, calling the play in the huddle, getting to the line of scrimmage on time and recognizing defenses.
"I'm confident," he said. "I'm sure my teammates have confidence in me as well. Like I said, you can't put everything on my shoulders, can't try to do everything. Just go out and let the players make plays and let myself make plays."
Pryor will be the 15th player to start at quarterback for the Raiders since the start of the 2003 season.
"Of course he brings the running ability, but he's trying to be a leader out there, have command of the huddle and doing the job that a starting quarterback should do," receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey said.
Leinart had hoped to be able to make his third start since 2007 but thought the Raiders might give the nod to Pryor to see what he can do in a real game.