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.

Raiders OC Todd Downing: New weapons will 'make me look good'

Raiders OC Todd Downing: New weapons will 'make me look good'

STANFORD – Todd Downing has long been responsible for intently analyzing college quarterbacks entering the NFL Draft. He certainly did so during two seasons as Raiders quarterbacks coach, adding input to personnel department evaluations on young signal callers.

This offseason, he’s using a wide-angle lens. Downing is the Raiders offensive coordinator now, promoted to the position after Bill Musgrave was allowed to leave on an expired contract.

Coaches enter the draft evaluation process relatively late – they have a season to coach, after all – but Downing prides himself on working hard in evaluating talent. Working with general manager Reggie McKenzie’s staff, coaches feel like their voice is being heard.

That’s important to a coordinator especially, who must make a scheme work with talent around him.

“Reggie and his staff have always done a tremendous job of listening to our vision for the offense or the defense,” Downing said Thursday at Stanford’s pro day. “It’s been a joy to work with those guys over the past three years.

“(Head coach Jack Del Rio) really expects us to be accountable for our position group. Now that I’m the coordinator, there’s more of a broad scope when looking at offensive talent in the draft. When you work that hard (evaluating players), I think the scouts know that your opinion is well grounded, and that validates it a little bit.”

Downing is always on the lookout for weapons, especially while making tweaks to the Raiders offense. The Silver and Black found a few, adding tight end Jared Cook, receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, offensive lineman Marshal Newhouse and quarterback EJ Manuel.

Quarterback Derek Carr helped him get some. The full-time East Bay resident has been active recruiting free agents, trying to improve an already strong Raiders offense.

“You guys know how passionate he is about this game, and about this team and backing up this franchise,” Downing said. “(His involvement in recruiting) didn’t surprise any of us. He’s pretty hands on when it comes to football. He lives in the area, so he hopped in when we needed it and it paid off.”

Cook and Patterson especially could add dimensions to a well-rounded Raiders attack. Cook has made some big plays in the past, and should be a reliable receiving tight end the Raiders have lacked in recent seasons.

“He has a skill set that will be fun to play with (schematically),” Downing said. “We’re excited to see what he can do, and I know Derek is excited to add him. He has a history of making plays in this league, and that’s something we’re excited to have.”

Patterson’s primarily known as a kick returner – he’s a two-time All Pro on special teams – but the Raiders hope he’ll be active on offense.

“With guys like that, you just find a way to get them the rock and let them do the rest of the work,” Downing said. “They make me look good. I can call a simple play and he takes it the distance and it looks like I designed something special.”

Week after signing with Vikings, ex-Raiders RB Murray undergoes surgery

Week after signing with Vikings, ex-Raiders RB Murray undergoes surgery

A week after signing a deal with the Vikings, former Raiders running back Latavius Murray has undergone ankle surgery.

The Vikings made the announcement Wednesday afternoon.

Minnesota issued the following statement regarding the surgery:

"Vikings RB Latavius Murray had successful ankle surgery today. The surgery was performed by Dr. Bob Anderson in Charlotte, North Carolina. We were aware of the required surgery prior to signing Latavius on March 16. Latavius is expected to fully recover and be available for training camp."

Murray's deal with the Vikings is reported worth $15 million over three years, but can reportedly be voied after the first year.

Drafted in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Murray became the Raiders' primary running back midway through the 2015 season. In his three years in Oakland, Murray carried the ball 543 times for 2,278 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2015.