Earlier self-criticism aside, Pryor remains confident he can be a functional NFL quarterback. A great one, even.
"The suspension really screwed me," Pryor told The Oakland Tribune, referring to his five-game ban last season for violating the NFL's eligibility rules. "The way I came out of college and my mistakes screwed me. But right now, I'm in a good place because I'm learning from the best and I'm only going to get better, a lot better.
"If I can just keep on figuring out this progression thing and having my internal clock running with my feet, I can be good. I can be great."
Pryor is the definition of a project QB, and in fairness to him, entering the NFL as a project QB in the hurried post-lockout NFL landscape of 2011 was a rough situation. The suspension that followed made his rookie season a developmental washout. This is really his first opportunity to grow.
But is Pryor even a No. 3 QB at this point? If bad fortune were to befall Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart, could Pryor be competent? There's no evidence yet he would be.