Pryor channeling his inner Newton


Pryor channeling his inner Newton

Really, with his blend of size, speed and athleticism, you could say no one in the NFL compares to the pure, raw unadulterated talent that is Carolina's self-described "entertainer and icon" -- the Panthers' quarterback, Cam Newton.

Unless you do a double-take in the Raiders' locker room.

"We've got the closest guy here," running back Mike Goodson, a former teammate of Newton, said with a gap-toothed Cheshire Cat grin this week. "Terrelle Pryor. We've got the closest guy to him, I think."

So yes, starring as Newton for the Raiders' scout team this week…the most enigmatic player on the Raiders' roster. Pryor was asked Thursday if his game resembled that of Newton.

"Athleticism definitely," Pryor said. "I’ve seen a lot of Cam and I’m sure he’s watched or seen me somewhere. Even back when we were coming into the NFL, we exchanged text messages and stuff like that. He’s a great guy, athletic, just like myself. The offense is broken down pretty good from him to have real success. He has a gun (for an arm) and he’s playing well too."

Pryor, though, is ensconced as the Raiders' third-string quarterback, behind starter Carson Palmer and backup Matt Leinart. Pryor made his 2012 season debut last week against Kansas City, handing off twice and throwing an incompletion.

His supporters say his skill set closely resembles not only that of Newton, but the 49ers' Colin Kaepernick, let alone the New York Jets' polarizing Tim Tebow. And with the success of those first two guys this season, why not cut Pryor loose, right?

Just don't expect Pryor to bite.

"At the end of the day, when it’s time for me and I really get a lot of reps and get comfortable, I’ll have success," Pryor said. "I really, truly believe that. Right now, I’m just waiting. Right now, I don’t want to compare myself to Kaepernick or Cam or any of those guys because them guys and (Robert) Griffin (III) have proved it. I haven’t proved anything. I can’t really say I’d be like them.

"I don’t know what I’m going to be like because I haven’t even played yet. I can tell from practice and certain  plays that they run and certain plays that I run, I could tell I can do that in practice. (But) it’s not when people are watching, so I can’t really compare myself to them."

Instead, he's the Raiders' Rich Little, er, Frank Caliendo this week. It's almost, Pryor admitted, as if he is channeling Newton's train of thought.

"Yeah, just from some of that zone-read stuff, I’m just trying to teach them a little bit," Pryor said. "If they keep to their keys...they’ll be good. But if he gets to the edge and he gets to the secondary, that’s one of the problems. I’m trying to help them to the most of my ability. He’s going to make plays because he’s a great quarterback and athlete.

"We have to minimize it as much as possible and I’m trying to help as much as I can."

Del Rio expects Conley, Melifonwu contract issues 'to be resolved shortly'


Del Rio expects Conley, Melifonwu contract issues 'to be resolved shortly'

Raiders rookies have reported to Napa for some pre-training camp instruction. Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu are not among them.

This year’s top draft picks remain unsigned as activity ramps up toward the first full-squad practice on Saturday. Every practice, meeting or moment of instruction is important for young defensive backs expected to make an immediate impact.

It is, however, still early in the season preparation process. Head coach Jack Del Rio isn’t concerned about his first-round cornerback Conley or his second-round safety Melifonwu being away long term.

“These are issues that should get resolved shortly and they’ll join the team,” Del Rio said Tuesday in an interview with 95.7-FM The Game in San Francisco. “It’s one of those situations where, years ago, ...those were issues. Holdouts could last the whole camp and into the season. The structure is in place now (with the NFL’s rookie wage scale), and we expect these things to get resolved shortly and they’ll be getting their work in.”

There isn’t much wiggle room in rookie contract negotiations these days, which is why just four NFL draft picks remain unsigned at this stage.

Conley’s legal issues, however, could be considered complicating. The No. 24 overall pick was accused of sexual assault stemming from an April 9 incident in Cleveland.

The Cuyahoga County District Attorney’s office has said the investigation is ongoing. Conley’s lawyer did not return a call seeking comment.

There is no timetable to complete the process. Conley has maintained his innocence, and passed a lie detector test just before the draft. The Raiders have stood by their selection from the start, confident in their pre-draft research that Conley will be cleared of wrongdoing and be a productive member of the squad.

Del Rio said that’s still the case several months later.

Peters happy for Marshawn, but Chiefs 'going to beat the dog s--- out of him'

Peters happy for Marshawn, but Chiefs 'going to beat the dog s--- out of him'

Marshawn Lynch is getting to live out the dream of most pro athletes.

He's getting to finish his career by playing for his hometown team.

One fellow Oakland-native and AFC West rival can appreciate the opportunity in front of Lynch, but also had some fighting words for the Raiders running back.

“For Shawn to finish off this last little stretch of his career here at home, that’s dope,” Chiefs CB Marcus Peters told the Bay Area News Group on July 8.

“It’s going to feel good for him. It’s going to be a good feeling. It’s going to be a good feeling for Oakland. But when [the Chiefs] come here, we’re going to beat the dog s--- out of him,” Peters said.

So you can circle Thursday, Oct. 19 on your calendars. The Raiders host the Chiefs in Week 7. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:25pm PT.