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  • JEFF CHIU / Associated Press

    Terrelle Pryor, right, is the Raiders' third-string quarterback behind starter Carson Palmer (3) and backup Matt Leinart (7).

  • Terrelle Pryor – He experienced an abbreviated rookie season, getting in for one play – a quarterback sneak nullified by a penalty.

Raiders QB Pryor eager for first extended game action

Published: Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012 - 9:56 am

NAPA – Upon being hired as the Raiders' quarterbacks coach this offseason, John DeFilippo pulled film of every snap Terrelle Pryor took in college. Pryor had spent a season in the NFL already, but that film would have made for a brief session.

Pryor got in for one play in his stunted rookie season – a sneak attempt against the Kansas City Chiefs (nullified by a false start). He was already behind the curve, having left Ohio State early under an NCAA violations investigation and missed much of training camp before the Raiders took him in the supplemental draft. Pryor hardly saw the field again.

When the Raiders play their preseason opener Monday against the Dallas Cowboys, new head coach Dennis Allen said he expects Pryor, eager for another opportunity and still oozing confidence, to get "plenty of snaps."

"I can't wait," Pryor said. "It's been a long time for me to play football. It's what I was born to do. God blessed me, he gave me great talent, and I just want to try to – I can finally use it again. It's been a long time."

The theme this offseason for Pryor, who came into camp seemingly a clear No. 3 behind Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart, has been improvement in small steps as he gets used to proper footwork and working through progressions in the Raiders' offense.

Because Ohio State ran a pro-style offense, Pryor said, there is some carryover to learning an NFL scheme, but it only goes so far.

"Sometimes I go in the (shotgun), and it'll be a whole other read," Pryor said. "It's kind of the same, I can match it up, but I don't think I was great at it. Coming out of high school, I was just an athlete that just, whenever the guy was open, I didn't know what I was reading. When I saw a guy open, I threw the ball.

"Now, coming out of college, I got to learn to read defenses. I wasn't blessed enough to be at a powerhouse that you learn that stuff as a quarterback. So I'm working, and I'm going to get good at it."

A full offseason and instruction from DeFilippo are both advantages Pryor can draw on this year – the Raiders did not have a quarterbacks coach last season – as well as being able to observe Palmer and Leinart.

"I'm fine with taking the third snaps right now," Pryor said. "I'm perfecting what I need to perfect, and when Carson's (on the field), I read his read like I'm in the practice with him. It's like I'm really taking 70 snaps, 80 snaps a practice."

One of the challenges for Pryor has been consistency. He has shown the ability in camp to make throws all over the field but also had serious bouts of inaccuracy, something DeFilippo chalked up to "a footwork thing, and a maturity thing."

"It's kind of unfair to compare him to Matt or to Carson because he hasn't played as much football or seen as many looks," DeFilippo said. "But the more consistent he gets with his footwork, there's no doubt the more accurate he's going to be."

There also is the question of how often Pryor might try to tuck the ball and use his athleticism to gain yardage, as he did so well in college. According to safety Mike Mitchell, the speed translates.

"He runs like a deer," Mitchell said.

"As soon as I feel a guy rushing up on me, that's when I do what I have to do," Pryor said. "If I'm on the run, I'd rather throw a touchdown (pass) than run for a touchdown. (But) if I have to run to get the first down, it depends on the situation. I don't mind doing that either."

Though in line for his first game snaps in nearly a year Monday, Pryor said he doesn't believe he'll come out trying to do too much.

"I'm just going to go in and try to perfect the play, go through the read," he said. "Like coach says, my feet have got to stay on time.

"Meaning that when I go through the read, just keep the right read, and if I keep my feet on time, I'll be good."

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Matt Kawahara



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