Gutierrez: Raiders' Pryor shows moves...after game

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Gutierrez: Raiders' Pryor shows moves...after game

Sept. 2, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comSEATTLE -- His body language gave some hints. His deed filled in the blanks.Up and at attention for most of the game, Terrelle Pryor looked every part the dutiful student as he had headphones resting atop his baseball cap, a clipboard at his side and listened in attentively on every sideline quarterback meeting.This was going to be the night when he'd get on a football field for any meaningful action for the first time since the Sugar Bowl in January. His last meaningful action before his NFL-mandated five-game suspension kicks in on Saturday, since he cannot practice during his ban.NBC reported on Sunday that Pryor, selected by the Raiders in the league's supplemental draft on Aug. 22 and signed on Aug. 25, would play against Seattle in the exhibition finale. And while Raiders coach Hue Jackson said he told the network Pryor "could" play, he hinted all week it would happen.RECAP: Raiders fall to Seattle, finish preseason winless
No wonder the Blogosphere, the Twitterverse and all of Raider Nation sat in joyful hope of Pryor taking the field for a series or two and showing off his myriad skills against the Seahawks. He looked the part.But when it became apparent Pryor was not going to play, his shoulders slumped. He retreated to the bench late in the fourth quarter and took a seat next to fellow rookie Taiwan Jones.Was he sulking? Or was the realization of his suspension, in which he can attend meetings, hitting him full bore? Did he think he would play and, if so, did he feel misled?Jackson acknowledged after the Raiders' 20-3 defeat he contemplated putting Pryor in the game."I thought about it, but there was so much pressure and having to call plays that he hadn't had a chance to practice," Jackson said. "I didn't want to put him in an uncomfortable situation. I don't think that's fair to the kid."That's not building a bully. Honestly, that's just being smart.Because Oakland's back-up offensive line, many of whom will not be on the roster Saturday afternoon, was brutal in the second half. Kyle Boller took a beating. The same thumping Trent Edwards experienced against New Orleans.Then again, Pryor's strength is in his legs. His running ability and his speed. And it was never more apparent than in the post-game locker room."I've got to go get something," he told me when I asked if he had a minute.Then, when approached by another group of reporters, he said, "I've got to go to the bathroom."And, like that, he was gone. Pryor found a back door and was ghost.With his deft moves on the media, surely he could have avoided the random Seahawks rusher, right?Then again, perhaps Pryor was showing some of that newfound maturity. Maybe he knew he would say something he'd later regret so he chose to say nothing.Check back in Week 6.

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.”