Allen: Pryor's improvement means more opportunity
ALAMEDA – Matt Flynn is now backing up a pair of positions. The Raiders used their No. 2 quarterback as a holder during Thursday’s practice, trying to find a proper fit with kicker Sebastian Janikowski.
Punter Marquette King is the holder now, but the chemistry between him and Janikowski seems off. The veteran kicker has missed two field goals within 50 yards, after missing as many in 50 attempts during the two previous seasons. The laces weren’t facing out on the first miss, clearly a holder mistake.
King is working hard to improve in a role he’s never held before, but there’s clearly a disconnect. When issues cost points – it’s six already – teams look to other options.
That’s why the Raiders are trying Flynn. The veteran backup quarterback was a holder at times in college and during his first two seasons in Green Bay. He could do so again Monday against Denver.
“We’ll see,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “We’ve got to be better in that area. It’s something we have to improve on, and it’s something we’ve been really good at in the past. We have to make sure we’re better there.”
It’s obviously not a role Flynn wanted. He came into camp expecting to be the Raiders starting quarterback, but the wheels came off after arm troubles and Terrelle Pryor’s ascent. Flynn hasn’t spoken to the press since being demoted, but Allen said he’s dealt with the decision as well as can be expected.
“He’s handled himself like a professional and he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do,” Allen said. “He understands how the league works. His number could be called at any time and he needs to be ready if it is. I’m completely confident that he will be.”
Burnett gets sick: Raiders outside linebacker Kevin Burnett left practice early due to illness. He was limited, but he shouldn’t miss much time leading up to Monday’s game.
Red zone correction: The Raiders need to score more touchdowns in the red zone. There’s no argument there. They were 1-for-5 in the red zone Sunday against Jacksonville, but those stats may be a little skewed. Twice they entered the red zone on fourth down and kicked a field goal.
“That’s not to say we shouldn’t score more touchdowns,” coordinator Greg Olson said. “It will certainly be imperative that we score touchdowns against Denver. Our execution in those areas has to get better.”
New injuries: OLB Kevin Burnett (illness)
Returning from injury: None.
Still sidelined: TE David Ausberry (shoulder), OT Menelik Watson (knee), Lucas Nix (ankle), SS Tyvon Branch (lower leg)
Injured reserve: RB Latavius Murray (ankle), K Eddie Carmona (leg), G Tony Bergstrom (foot); Designated to return: LT Jared Veldheer (triceps)
Physically unable to perform list: LB Miles Burris (knee)
Quote of the day: “This is the ultimate. To be the best you have to beat the best. This is what you want. This is why you play the game. Monday Night Football against Denver, doing something nobody thinks you can do? There’s nothing better than that.” -- Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver on playing the Broncos on Monday Night Football