Pryor: 'I think I took a step forward today'
Terrelle Pryor spent the first day of Raiders' minicamp working on familarizing himself with the protection calls. (AP)
ALAMEDA -- A casual observer would have told you that Terrelle Pryor had a tough day at Raiders' minicamp practice on Tuesday, but the second-string quarterback felt just the opposite.
"Myself, I did a great job today getting the protection calls down," Pryor said after the team's first day of minicamp. "That was a big thing for me today that I really wanted to get positive. I took a step forward today.”
Pryor was limited to short completions against the first- and second-team defenses throughout the workout, and the third-round pick in the 2011 supplemental draft could only complete a screen pass during his portion of the final 11-on-11 drill Tuesday. A number of his passes were swatted at the line.
"A lot of tipped balls from the defense because there’s no pads," Pryor explained. "It’s very nerve-racking and you get tired of that, but you can’t really get the pads down on the linemen because we don’t have pads on. It kind of makes you mad but, at the end of the day, as long as you’re making the right decision -- like (Raiders quarterbacks coach John) DeFilippo said today -- as long as the ball is going to the right spot, it’s good."
Pryor has made a point to work on his footwork, and it appeared to be his best asset Tuesday. He's also trying to raise his arm angle by getting his elbow up. Throwing from up above his 6-foot-5, 230-pound frame makes for some serious tilt on short passes. It's good for getting the ball over the defensive line -- which was a problem Tuesday -- but can make for a tough catch, as a number of Pryor's short passes presented wrestling matches for the intended targets.
Despite the misses on quick passes, batted balls and an overthrow or two, Pryor is focusing on one song, and one song only.
"The main thing for us is just getting the protection calls down and understanding the protections so we can sit back and be stress-free in the pocket," he said.
Pryor wasn't stress-free the last time the Raiders took the field for game action. Then 22, it was Pryor at the helm going 13-for-28 for 150 yards, two touchdowns, an interception and a rushing touchdown in a 24-21 loss to the Chargers. That was for offensive coordinator Greg Knapp.
Now 23, he's familiarizing himself with the offense of new coordinator Greg Olson. It's the team's third offensive scheme in as many years, and the coaches are well aware.
"It’s an adjustment, there’s no question about it," head coach Dennis Allen said. "You want to be able to create as much consistency as you can. It’s an adjustment, but we’re pro football players and we’ve got to be able to learn on the run, we’ve got to be able to learn fast, and we’ve got to continue to show progress."
Pryor would have you believe he made major progress Tuesday, and with an expected average of two hours per night further studying the playbook, he feels he has a good grasp of his role in Olson's scheme.
It's a scheme, the top three quarterbacks confirmed Tuesday, that involves a lot of action at the line of scrimmage -- the quarterback communicating with the center to get the team in the right protection, as well as the right run or pass. But Pryor is confident.
"A lot of the X's and O's that are pretty much the same," Pryor said. "It’s just a different lingo."
While he feels good about his progress, some results would certainly help Pryor's case, as rookie third-string quarterback Tyler Wilson continues to throw darts right behind him.