Gutierrez: Pryor starts slow in Oakland


Gutierrez: Pryor starts slow in Oakland

Aug. 26, 2011


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Paul Gutierrez

NAPA -- First impressions of Terrelle Pryor on his first practice with the Raiders?

He's big, but not shockingly so.

He's quick, but not mind-blowing fast.

His accuracy, well, let's get to that later.

But my goodness, does he look young in the face.

And any questions about his standing as a developmental quarterback were answered...with aplomb.

Pryor took 16 snaps as the Raiders' fourth-string quarterback. He completed four of nine passes, fumbled twice and either handed off or pitched the ball on five plays.

His passes were a collection of wounded ducks, wobbly spirals and getting-tighter spirals.

He threw behind receivers in the flat and his longest completion down field was a badly-underthrown ball down the right sideline. Luckily for him, Chad Jackson adjusted on the fly and Stanford Routt fell down so Jackson caught the ball.

"(My) problem is that now I'm 17, 18 days, practices behind right now," Pryor acknowledged afterwards. "I'm just playing catchup right now. Some of the stuff is getting there and I'm starting to get familiar with some of the stuff. But it's been one day.

"Give me a couple of days and I should be able to fill it in and feel a lot more comfortable."

And in case there's still any question as to what position Pryor figures to play in the NFL, at least at the start of his pro career, just listen to coach Hue Jackson.

"I think the guy is big, athletic," Jackson said. "I think he can throw it. He looks like a quarterback, feels like a quarterback, sounds like a quarterback and I'm very excited to work with him."

Oh yeah, Jackson was a quarterback in college, too.

Pryor fumbled two of his first six snaps from third-string center Alex Parsons.

"The biggest thing was I had to get the cadence down," Pryor said. "I was learning the cadence. At first, coach was playing around with me, saying he was going to embarrass me and stuff like that. I had fun. I'm learning and I like the way coach makes his quarterbacks learn."

Pryor did not embarrass himself on the day the Raiders broke camp. He just established a baseline from which to work.

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.

They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.

Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.

“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”

While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.

The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.

“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.

"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.

Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.

Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.

“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”

Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.

“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”