ALAMEDA -- There's a reason Terrelle Pryor has yet to suit up for a game this season, right?After all, the Raiders third-string quarterback has only been active for one regular season game in his two-year career -- and he false started on his lone play -- and yet, the most intriguing player on the Oakland roster moves the needle like no other. Especially when coach Dennis Allen admitted this week there have been discussions about activating Pryor. Perhaps even for this weekend's game against Cleveland.Except, Pryor has not been told anything of the sort. He has just continued to work on his development, he said."The biggest thing is I know all the plays and the formations and the plays for the week going in for whoever were playing," Pryor said Wednesday. "I try and stay in it as much as I can to help the guys. But on a personal level, its kind of, coach calls it false enthusiasm. As a quarterback, you have to do that."I dont play, and I dont get any time and I dont get any reps in practice, so I have to have false enthusiasm to get the guys going and whenever guys are slacking a little bit and kind of tired, just kind of pick them up. Its tough, but thats the calling for me right now. Ive got to deal with it."The Raiders used a third-round supplemental draft pick on him in August of 2011 -- Al Davis' final draft pick -- after his star-crossed career at Ohio State ended in scandal. With his unique brand of athleticism, but far-from-prototypical-NFL-QB skill set, Pryor has been the ultimate project."Terrelles growingand theres a potential that he might be up in the (Browns) game as the third quarterback, and well just leave it at that," Allen said. "Well see what goes from there."Somewhere down the line we need to see what he can do. Now when that time is, I dont know the exact answer for that yet. But there will be a time where weve got to look at him and see what he can do."Pryor played in all four exhibitions this summer, mostly against fellow third-stringers, and threw for 251 yards on 19 of 32 passing with two touchdowns and an interception. He also was sacked five times but rushed for 121 yards on 14 carries with a score."I wasnt terrible then," he said. "It was just hit and miss, you know? Sometimes I would hit like five in a row then Id miss two. I didnt like that. It also comes with reps. If you dont get a lot of reps you cant prove to yourself you can do it on a consistent basis. One day Im looking forward to that, proving to myself that I can do it."Keep in mind that technically, Pryor is third on the Raiders QB depth chart, behind starter Carson Palmer and backup Matt Leinart. So you could not blame Leinart if he was a bit bemused at the media attention Pryor was receiving Wednesday.But no one has questioned Pryor's work ethic."Theres been zero dropoff," Palmer said. "You know, hes in a tough spot being the third stringer where you dont get a chance to dress out, but (he) studies his butt off, continues to work, gets as many reps as he can in practice, is completely in it."Said Pryor: "He has a lot on his shoulders, especially right now. Hes trying to lead our organization. Were trying to get back on top. Were trying to win some ballgames. My hats off to Carson. He helps an awful lot and Im going to keep sticking beside him and learn from him."At 3-8, the Raiders are essentially playing for pride while playing out the string and planning for the future. Yes, the line is a fine one indeed. At least, straighter than many a pass thrown by Pryor as a pro."Ive been doing a lot of footwork," Pryor said. "Its amazing, the accuracy that I have now. Im able to step into my throws and throw exactly where I want the ball at, and I just keep getting better at that. As a quarterback, you never get to that level where you stop working. Theres always room for improvement and thats all Im looking for."Ive said it before, as long as Im getting better one percent and Im truthful with myself, I can look myself in the mirror, and especially when its time to go one day, I can look myself in the mirror and say that I did everything I can to be ready, and I can live with that.Im going to get better."So should the Raiders give Pryor a look in the final five games or stay the course with Palmer?
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.
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.