While the Eagles appear to be set at the quarterback position with the off-season signing of Mark Sanchez, the idea of Pryor’s athleticism in Chip Kelly’s offense has been fantasized about by many Eagles fans. But in the end, Pryor’s next-level athleticism is really all the he brings to a team.
While we all saw the highlights of Pryor’s explosive runs last year, if you watched him each week (like I did), you understand that his game is very limited. It’s fair to say that he played behind a less than reliable offensive line, and on a offense that didn’t exactly have the type of playmakers that the Eagles offense does, but Pryor’s footwork is still well below average, and if you force him to his left, he is pretty much incapable of making anything happen.
As a passer, he might have a slightly higher completion percentage than Sanchez, but he is very limited in his ability to throw downfield. Sanchez himself isn’t the most accurate passer, but he is more accurate than Pryor.
I think the distinguishing factor between the two is that the Eagles aren’t looking for either to be a starter–short or longterm. They brought in Sanchez, because if Nick Foles has to miss a game or two, Sanchez can come in and play within the offense. For Pryor to have success, because he can’t sit in the pocket like Foles or Sanchez could, Chip Kelly would have to completely re-desgin the offense for a few games, because the only time that Pryor has shown flashes of success is when he is running for his life. Sanchez, who will finally have a chance to work with a good offensive mind and be surrounded by solid skill players, seems to be more of a seemless transition. He can make a big throw here or there, but chances are he is going to keep them in the game. That’s all that the Eagles really need out of their backup.
Would seeing Terrelle Pryor try to excel in Kelly’s system over the course of a few years maybe be slightly interesting? Sure, if the Eagles didn’t already have someone who looked like a franchise quarterback. For the first time since the mid-2000’s, the Eagles are bringing in their backup quarterback, simply to push the starter and back him up. Mark Sanchez isn’t ever going to be given a chance to be the Eagles long-term starter, nor would Pryor—even if he could improve under Kelly’s system.