Allen: Pryor needs to make 'the smart play'
Terrelle Pryor completed 6 of 10 passes for 88 yards and one interception on Friday against Dallas. (AP)
Quarterback Matt McGloin scored 10 points on his first two drives, including a 30-yard touchdown pass to Brice Butler. (AP IMAGES)
Terrelle Pryor’s interception was an opportunity disguised as a costly mistake. That’s how Raiders coach Dennis Allen looked at it.
He wasn’t happy about the ill-advised throw, but not quite angry either. Rage would’ve been counterproductive in that moment, and he took a different tack. Allen pulled his young quarterback aside following the ill-advised throw, explained what went wrong and how to do better.
“It was a teachable moment, and you have to take advantage of all of them,” Allen said. “We’ve consistently talked to Terrelle about situations like that, and we’ve told him, ‘Don’t be afraid to use your legs. Don’t be afraid to use you skill set. That was a situation where we felt like he could’ve pressed the edge and made something happen.
“We really want him to understand that not every play has to be spectacular. Sometimes the best play is the easy one that keeps the offense on schedule. Those are things you go through with all young players. Terrelle is no exception.”
Allen believes there were several teachable moments throughout a preseason game executed relatively well, and he thinks his Raiders will learn from them and improve before the Aug. 16 preseason game at New Orleans.
“We have to continue to improve and build upon what we’ve done,” he said. “We have to keep getting better.”
Allen touched on several topics in his day-after-the-game conference call, where he voiced pleasure at his team’s solid start and the miles left to go before the regular season. Here are some of his thoughts looking back at Friday and forward to the rest of the preseason:
On left guard Tony Bergstrom’s work with the first team offensive line: “I was pleased with what Tony did. I though he made some improvements, but I’d still like to see him play with more power in his run blocking, but I thought he was better in protection. I thought he took a step forward last night.”
On Mike Brisiel at right guard: “One of the reasons we’re going to give him a day off (on Sunday) is that I don’t think he’s 100 percent healthy right now. I don’t think he played as well as he would’ve liked. We’re going to try and get him some rest and healed back up so we can give him a better opportunity.”
On quarterback Matt McGloin: “I thought he showed a lot of poise and made some good decisions, especially on the touchdown pass to Brice Butler, who also made a nice effort on the play. Matt doesn’t get rattled. For a guy that’s undrafted to handle himself the way he has in pressure situations, it’s been a nice surprise.”
Whether any second-tier cornerbacks separated themselves: “Not really. I thought they all played pretty well. We have to a better job of setting the edge on runs that got outside on us but, overall, things went well there. Phillip Adams showed some improvement, as did Chance Casey. I like our depth at that spot, and it’s going to be challenging to decide who makes the 53-man roster.
On special teams becoming a point of emphasis this season: “We have to get better on special teams, and it’s a place where you can get better quickly. I thought we did a good job in the return game and with our coverage units. I thought we executed pretty well which is good, because special teams is a huge emphasis for us this year.”
His team’s level of execution on Friday: “For the first preseason game, I thought the attention to detail was pretty good. We played physical. We controlled the clock and the game never got too sloppy, which is rare at this point in the preseason.”
Allen’s impressions of defensive lineman Ryan Robinson: “I thought Ryan gave us a little juice off the edge. He’s a little undersized, but he does have some pass-rush ability. We want to continue to look at him during the preseason and see if he can give us something as a pass rusher.”
On what broke down on the sack-fumble of Matt Flynn: “It was a protection issue. We got a little hung up on the linebacker and we should’ve come back to him. In those situations, you put that on everybody. You put that on the running back, the quarterback and the offensive line. We had a mental lapse, but they ran the same exact pressure on the next series and we picked it up exactly right. Those are plays you learn from and move on from.”
-- LG Lucas Nix didn’t play Friday due to a new, minor injury unrelated to his knee trouble early in camp. Allen doesn’t anticipate him missing an extended period.
-- LB Keenan Clayton remains the only Raider to come out of the game with an injury of significance.
-- RG Mike Brisiel will be given at least one day off to regain full health.