Allen: Pryor not ready to be backup quarterback yet

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Allen: Pryor not ready to be backup quarterback yet

CHARLOTTE -- All season long, Terrelle Pryor has played the role of good soldier.

The third-string quarterback has said the right things about biding his time, about learning at the knee of Carson Palmer, about waiting for his time to come and not being impatient or frustrated.

But after Palmer was knocked out in the first quarter, Matt Leinart was uneven and Pryor was used as a wrinkle three times in the Raiders' 17-6 loss to Carolina Sunday, might Pryor have shown a glimpse of his true feelings?

Pryor, who simulated Panthers' quarterback Cam Newton on scout team, was actually downgraded in practice this week.

Asked about playing, Pryor was tight-lipped: "It's just playing football, you know? It's what I've been playing my whole life. It's something I like to do."

On what his plays showed: "I just do what I'm asked to do and that's it. Whatever I show, I show."

On if he thought he should have been used more: "I'm just a player. I don't have any expertise in coaching."

On if he expects to play more next week: "Not sure. I know I played three decent plays, but I didn't play a lot."

On how he seemed more upset than usual: "I'm upset that we lost. I think we should have won and more plays we could have made. But it's the game of football. They get paid just like us. Hats off to them. We'll go in next week and do the same thing and get back to week."

On potentially seeing more playing time: "Like I said, I'm not the coach. I definitely don't make decisions like that. I don't talk much, I just go out and do my job. Whatever God has for me, it's going to happen. If not, I'll be fine."

Pryor was not surly, but close, and it was obvious from his tone that he wanted to be anywhere else. And really, could you blame him?

In his mind -- and in the mind of his growing legion of supporters -- he probably felt he could have helped the Raiders more had he been on the field for more than three plays.

On his first play, which was the Raiders' second play from scrimmage, he lined up in the Wildcat, took the direct snap and passed the ball out to Palmer on the right. Palmer quickly threw back to Pryor, who scooted 22 yards upfield.

On his second play, early in the second quarter, Pryor took the direct snap from the Panthers' 9-yard line on second-and-8, and while it appeared to be a read-option, Pryor kept the ball all the way and ran up the middle for a two-yard gain.

And on his third play, early in the fourth quarter, and with the Raiders at the Panthers' 8-yard line on first-and-goal, Pryor lofted a pass to Marcel Reece, who was pushed out of bounds at the 3-yard line.

That was it. And if you thought Pryor should have seen more time…

"Matt's our back-up quarterback," said coach Dennis Allen. "Terrelle's done a nice job. He's working extremely hard. We don't feel like he's ready to be the backup quarterback yet, and we feel like Matt would give us the best chance."

And there it is.

We don't feel like he's ready...yet.

"Although, we feel like using Terrelle in some of the packages and some of the things like we did with him today -- the pass down there in the red zone, also the throw-back screen to start the game off (on) the second play of the game -- I mean, those are some of the things that we feel like we can use him in right now," Allen added, "until he develops even more as a quarterback."

Perhaps Pryor seeing Cam Newton run the Panthers' offense gave him a bigger sense of self? And really, on the flip side of that coin, maybe Pryor could have thrown just as ugly an interception as Leinart did late in the second quarter.

And if Pryor is not ready, how does he get ready in a lost season with one game to go unless he gets to play?

Or, he must really be bad to not get into this kind of game that screamed for a spark, any spark, to get the offense going.

Then there's this -- Pryor only has a handful of plays at his disposal, and they are "specialized" wrinkles, not the full playbook, whereas Leinart has not only knowledge of said playbook, but also the trust of the coaching staff.

And oh yeah, there was that whole bit about Pryor being downgraded this week, too.

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Raiders general Reggie McKenzie plans to extend quarterback Derek Carr’s contract this offseason. That isn’t a new thing, something that has been in the works for some time. He re-affirmed that fact last week, citing his team’s commitment to work out a long-term deal likely the biggest in franchise history.

Carr was reportedly frustrated with the pace of contract talks after the NFL draft – they’re supposed to heat up this spring and summer – but said he believes a deal will get worked out before training camp begins.

That’s his deadline for an offseason deal, the point where he wants focus honed on football.

“I have an agent who is in charge of that and I am confident that he and Mr. (Reggie) McKenzie will work it out,” Carr, a Fresno State alum, told the Fresno Bee. “I am only focused on becoming a better football player and helping my teammates become better players.

“I have complete faith it will get done before training camp. These things take time. The Raiders know I want to be here; this is my family, and I know they want me to be their quarterback.”

The sides have discussed parameters of a long-term deal, with greater specifics to be ironed out in the future. Carr has long said he wants to be a Raider his entire career. The Raiders want him as the public face of their franchise. A new deal is expected by all parties, a sentiment that has never wavered on either side.

Carr is scheduled to make a $977,519 in base salary in 2017, the final year of his rookie contract.

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

The Raiders offseason program is five weeks old. Players have lifted weights. They’ve improved cardiovascular shape. They’ve done drills in position groups and discussed schematics. They’ve added rookies to a group now 90 strong.

On Monday, they can finally put on helmets. They still can’t wear pads or have full contact, but the Raiders can play 11-on-11. Receivers will be covered. Quarterback Derek Carr will throw into traffic. Generally speaking, the competition cranks up a bit.

The NFL collective bargaining agreement has strict mandates regarding offseason activity, and a period formally called “Phase III” allows for more realistic on-field football work.

The Raiders will conduct 10 OTA sessions over the next three weeks. The media can watch three of them. Tuesday is the first, with another in each of the next two weeks. These sessions are technically voluntary, though the Raiders generally hover around perfect attendance. Head coach Jack Del Rio prefers his team be unified in the offseason. Players know it and show up.

There is a mandatory minicamp from June 13-15 which wraps the offseason program and starts a quiet period that extends until training camp begins in late July.

These OTAs offer an opportunity for new players to learn the system, for adjustments to be made and for chemistry to be built heading into a 2017 season where expectations are high.