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."

Report: Former Raiders RB arrested for domestic violence


Report: Former Raiders RB arrested for domestic violence

Trent Richardson is reportedly in some trouble.

Richardson was arrested on Thursday night for domestic violence, according to TMZ Sports.

The former running back was taken into custody on a third degree charge, the report states, with bail being set for $1,000.

The arrest was made in Hoover, Alabama.

The Browns selected Richardson with the third overall pick in the 2012 draft.

He was traded to the Colts in 2013 and played for Indianapolis in 2014.

He signed with the Raiders in 2015 and appeared in three exhibition games, but did not make the team.

The 26-year old was cut by the Ravens last August.

Downing: Carr will have increased influence on Raiders game plan

Downing: Carr will have increased influence on Raiders game plan

Derek Carr and Todd Downing are tight. A strong friendship was forged between the Raiders’ franchise quarterback and his position coach these past two seasons, one that should help the Raiders now that Downing will call plays.

The Raiders new offensive coordinator will use his young signal caller as a resource formulating a game plan. Carr has a bright offensive mind – he called his own plays in high school and in college at times – and Downing plans to use it to put his quarterback in positions to succeed.

Carr’s influence in preparation will expand over previous seasons under coordinator Bill Musgrave.

“Where I see him needing a little bit more command is just being able to share his thoughts of game plans,” Downing said Wednesday in a conference call. “Being a student of the game, as he already is, but vocalize what he likes and doesn’t like. I think my relationship with him is something that’s going to give him the opportunity to voice his opinions. I look forward to him really taking charge of expressing his thoughts on the offense.”

Carr has always had freedom to adjust at the line of scrimmage, but that could increase with Downing in charge. Derek Carr’s brother Davis Carr told 95.7 The Game as much a few weeks ago, a topic Downing addressed on Wednesday.

“There’s been a lot made about his command at the line of scrimmage,” Downing said. “There’s certainly going to be opportunities for Derek to do that. That’s not something I feel we’ll even have to get into until we’re much further into this offseason and into training camp.”

Downing had opportunities to interview with other teams this offseason, but head coach Jack Del Rio wanted to pair Downing and Carr together. The young duo have similar personalities and a strong working relationship based on a love of the game.

“My relationship with Derek starts there,” Downing said in Wednesday interview on 95.7-FM. “We both love coming to work each day and respect the heck out of each other. When you have that kind of relationship with any coach, you’re taking a step in the right direction. Derek’s the leader of our franchise. In my opinion, he’s the best young quarterback in football. We’re fortunate to have him. Why wouldn’t I be in a good mood every time I am around him?”

Carr made great progress working with Downing the past two years, and was an MVP candidate in 2016. Downing sees continued room for growth and refinement as next season approaches.

“I think Derek made big strides in 2016, just in terms of his command of the offense, being the field general, being able to get through progressions more efficiently,” Downing said. “His footwork took big strides. I certainly want him to remain focused on all of those attributes. You don’t want to feel like you’ve arrived in a certain area of your game and then have it go backwards when the next season starts. Certainly, I want him focused on all of those.”