Pryor on playing time: 'It's a stepping stone'
OAKLAND -- Did you see it, or did you blink?
Terrelle Pryor's much-anticipated 2012 season debut came and went in the course of four snaps of the ball and then, like Keyser Söze, he was gone. Not that Pryor was surprised…or outwardly upset.
"We had set just one series," Pryor said, "so that was a set. I would have the first series of the second quarter. So it’s a steppingstone, a step. I enjoyed the four plays or whatever it was. It’s a steppingstone, and I was excited to get in there at least."
Pryor took the field with 14:48 to play in the second quarter and, karma being what it is, was the victim of a false start, on right guard Mike Brisiel. Remember, in his lone "play" last season, Pryor himself was called for a false start.
Then, on 1st and 15 from his own 10-yard line, the third-string quarterback handed off to Darren McFadden, who ran for six yards, before giving the ball again to McFadden, for a two-yard gain.
On 3rd and 7, Pryor missed Darrius Heyward-Bey across the middle.
"I didn’t think I rushed it," Pryor said of his pass. "It was a progression. I got to the third progression, they covered up the tight end on the backside, to the left -- a slant to the boundary. The slant was covered. They doubled him, actually. So I saw a guy, I went to go pass it to DHB and I saw (Javier Arenas) jump it. He was about to jump-cut it, so I just threw it right underneath.
"That would suck if I went right in and threw a pick. But I saw the guy. I was running out of time and guys were getting by me so I just threw it in. Just moving forward, no pick, no interception, no bad play really. So, get better this week in practice."
To his growing legion of fans, though, it was the greatest incompletion in the history of incompletions…or somesuch.
"Oakland loves me," Pryor said. "I love Oakland. I was excited to get out there. There’s not much I can say. I only had four plays, so not much I could really pick apart about myself. The defense that was there on that third-down pass, wasn’t a great type of play for that defense. We weren’t expecting it.
"But you know, next play. That means practice, get ready in practice next week, and just keep pushing as I always do."
Pryor came off the field, Shane Lechler punted and the next time the Raiders offense took the field, Carson Palmer was back under center to close out the Raiders' 15-0 defeat of Kansas City.
"The plan was to get him in the first series of the second quarter and then kind of let the game play out from there," said coach Dennis Allen. "We went three and out in that series and I thought we were doing some nice things with Carson and nice things in the run game and we just stuck with the plan.
"It's been a while since he's played, so we'll look at that going forward. How much he plays? I don't have an answer to that, exactly, but we'll see on a game-by-game basis."
Of course, fans reacted positively when Pryor entered the game and were quizzical when Palmer replaced him.
On the day, Palmer moved into second place on the Raiders' single-season lists for both passing attempts (562) and passing yards (3,987).
"I thought he did good," Palmer said of Pryor. "He didn't get much of a shot, or an opportunity. I know he's been waiting a long time."
And yet, Pryor is not bitter. Again, at least, not outwardly. Bored? Perhaps. But not bitter.
"These are the cards I'm dealt and I love learning from the guy right here," Pryor said as he nodded at Palmer. "I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. When the time’s right, I’ll be ready. And I just love learning from (Palmer)."
Someone mentioned that many think the time is now for Pryor to play.
"Definitely, but this guy right here, Carson, he hasn’t did anything wrong," Pryor said. "I think he did everything he can to try to win this year. Obviously, we want to score points, but he hasn’t played bad at all. If you really go back and look at film, it’s either a guy ran short on a route or a missed block assignment, anything like that. It’s not on Carson. He plays great.
"You can’t just take a guy out that plays great like that. I just love learning from him, like I said, and I look forward to keep on learning from him."