Pryor excels, but there is no QB controversy


Pryor excels, but there is no QB controversy

OAKLAND -- The knee-jerk reaction will be to proclaim Terrelle Pryor as the Truth. The multi-faceted threat under center. The guy who should, gulp, start at quarterback for the Raiders in their season opener.

And if all you saw was a stat sheet after the Raiders' 31-20 defeat of Detroit in both team's third exhibition game on Saturday, it might be understandable. Except

There is no quarterback controversy in Silver and Blackdom. None. Not even after Pryor excelled and excited -- finally -- and starter Carson Palmer had another somewhat uneven day that looked uglier on said stat sheet.

Consider: Palmer was 17-of-26 passing for 181 yards and two interceptions for a 53.5 passer rating while Pryor was three-of-five for 137 yards and two TDs's and a 143.8 rating. Pryor also ran the ball five times for 90 yards, while Palmer was stopped for no gain inside the 5-yard line and was sacked once.

Now, I'm not saying Pryor's stats were fool's gold. Far from it. What he accomplished was indeed impressive, and his 59-yard run down the right side in the third quarter was breathtaking. But you must keep in mind what Pryor did, he did against backups and guys who will not be on NFL rosters in another week, while Palmer was running against one of the most fearsome front lines in the league, and moving the ball well. Even without two of his top receiving targets in Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford and the projected starting center in Stefen Wisniewski.

If nothing else, this should convince the Raiders' coaching staff it needs to incorporate a specific package for Pryor, to utilize his special talents in certain situations. Maybe even when the Raiders' offense stalls inside the red zone, as it has under Palmer.

"He's still a work in progress," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said of Pryor. "But I thought he made some strides today. He's not where we need him to be. He's not where he wants to be. But he made some progress."

And with a talent as raw as Pryor is, that's all you can really ask for in the preseason. Especially since backup quarterback Matt Leinart sat this one out with his injured right index finger.

"I felt real comfortable because when I was with the (third-team offense), I would get like 10 plays in practice," Pryor said. "That's not really enough for me that I can really get the feel for it. They say that you win games in practice, and I wasn't winning in practice with 10 plays. It's impossible.

"I'm not really getting the feel for the exact plays that I'm going to be running, whereas this week (practicing with the second-team offense) I did. It was good to get a few extra reps behind Carson. It was great."

Even if his first touchdown pass, the 39-yard toss to Juron Criner, was not. The ball was slightly underthrown but on target and Criner showed off his leaping and ability to adjust in the air to haul in the pass.

Pryor's second TD was a 76-yard catch and run by Criner, who shook off the defensive back trying to tackle him.

But hey, playmakers make plays, right? Palmer's two picks came on a misguided middle screen attempt to Taiwan Jones and on a pass to Eddie McGee that bounded off his hands.

Pryor was also intercepted, on an ill-advised pass into blanket coverage. Though it was nullified by penalty.

"I hate losing so much," Pryor said, "people won't play video games against me because I will throw the controller and break it, and then I have to buy another one. I'm fiery. Losing drives me crazy. I won't shake the other team's hand if they win. I don't want to look at them. I just hate failing."

Got it? Remember, this is the same guy who said he played like "dog crap" against Dallas in the exhibition opener. Beyond that, it's been a rough month for Pryor. His mentor, his father and even his dog -- "my best friend," he said -- have all died since just before training camp opened.

So yeah, Pryor feeling at home at having major success on a football field was a big accomplishment for him.

Just don't get it twisted. Take it for what it's worth and put it in your back pocket.

"I'm just so happy for him," Palmer said. "He works so hard and puts so much time in. To have the big plays that he made with his feet and the big throws that he made and the guys step up for him like Juron did, guys have so much confidence in him and I'm just happy for him. Proud of him."

As he should be. Just, don't get carried away. Yet.

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.

Ex-Raiders tight end signs deal with Jaguars

Ex-Raiders tight end signs deal with Jaguars

After four seasons with the Raiders, tight end Mychal Rivera is on the move.

The 2013 sixth-round pick has signed a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team announced.

News of an agreement between the two sides was first reported by ESPN. Terms of the deal were not immediately known.

After playing a prominent role in Oakland his first two seasons, Rivera saw his numbers decrease in 2015 and 2016. This past season, he caught just 18 passes for 192 yards and one touchdown.

In his time with the Raiders, the Tennessee alum caught a total of 146 passes for 1,413 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Raiders signed free agent tight end Jared Cook last week to go with incumbents Clive Walford and Lee Smith.

Shortly after the deal was announced, Rivera took to Instagram to thank Raiders fans.

"Thank You #RaiderNation. It was an honor to wear silver and black for the first 4 years of my NFL career. A kid from LA was drafted to the Bay...and God made a way! Wins, Losses, Blood, Sweat, & Tears made me the player I am today. Better than ever. The values that embody what it is to be a Raider will stick with me for life," Rivera wrote.