Raiders' top assistant gets up-close look at QBs

February 26, 2012, 5:31 pm
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INDIANAPOLIS -- The Raiders might not have an urgent need at quarterback, but the organization's top offensive coach got his usual up-close look at the throwers on Sunday at the NFL scouting combine.Greg Knapp, who returned to the Raiders as new coach Dennis Allen's offensive coordinator, has been running the quarterback drills at the combine since 1997, when he was an offensive assistant with the 49ers.

"One advantage of being on the field, I do get a sense for the guy a little bit," Knapp told on Sunday. "How does he handle a tough situation? Every decision-maker who's going to dictate their future is on that field. And so it's as close as I can see to a real environment without going to a game. But I'm not that close for a game."I can see in their eyes, their anger, their anguish, their positivity. If they make a mistake, do they come right back and have a short-term memory and a mindset? I try to read into their non-verbal communication."The Raiders have three quarterbacks under contract for the 2012 season, including starter Carson Palmer. Knapp said he has spoken to Palmer a half-dozen times on the phone since he was hired last month. Knapp has also spoken with Terrelle Pryor, he said.As quarterbacks coach of the Houston Texans last year, Knapp got a good view of T.J. Yates at the combine. Yates was a fifth-round pick who ended up starting seven games, including two in the playoffs as a rookie, for the Texans.But there was another rookie who impressed Knapp last year with his demeanor at the combine: Top overall pick Cam Newton."It wasn't one of the greatest workouts ever, but he did have a phrase I like to use: short-term memory," Knapp said. "If he had a bad throw, he bounced back to the next throw and was ready to make it. He let the last one go. That's a good quality to have for a quarterback at this level."