Q: How do you prepare your game going against a team that is undefeated?
Pryor: The message that I relay to our offense is that they play sound ball, so we have to play sound ball. That doesn’t mean that they’re better than us because you never win a game on paper. You never win by looking at a record. It’s all about who goes out there and who is the more physical team. That’s what we expect. We expect to battle. Are they a good team? Yeah. I think they have one of the best defenses in the NFL. I think it’s going to be the best defense we play against all year. They have a tough team, but we’re very tough too.
Q: Having said that, when you look at the film of the Chiefs defense, do you say to yourself that you can get them here or there?
Pryor: Absolutely, but that’s not really me. I try to add my input to coach [offensive coordinator Greg] Olson like I do every week, but we have a phenomenal game plan. It’s going to be a fun game, and we’re excited.
Q: Care to share it with us?
Pryor: Absolutely not. (laughing)
Q: Your passing from the pocket against the Chargers was pretty much off the charts. Since you got here people have questioned your ability to throw the ball consistently, do you feel vindicated in any way in terms of what your passing percentage is now, the way you throw the ball?
Pryor: No because that’s your guys’ job. I don’t look down or say, ‘Hey, you guys used to say this.’ No. That’s your job, and you guys haven’t seen me play. Have I gotten better? Yeah, I’ve gotten a lot better through a lot of work, and I’m still continuing to get better. During the bye week I’m going to go back to my trainer, and I’m going to get some more work in. It’s a non-stop progression. It doesn’t really catch me by surprise that it’s happening because I appreciate the progress that I’m going in, and I’m not happy. I’m mad that I missed a lot more balls that I should have had …There’s just so much room for improvement. Do you want to show that you can do it, that you can lead the team? Absolutely. So to answer that, you have to respect the progression, and respect the people that are critiquing you because at the end of the day, it’s all about getting better.
Pryor: I didn’t work with Clarkson, but I think the three people that helped me the most are coach Olson, number one, [quarterbacks] coach [John] DeFilippo and Tom House, definitely, and his trainer Adam Deducts, those four guys they helped me get to the place I’m at right now. It’s a constant process and I have to continue getting better at things. Each of those guys has a different part; they see what I need to work on. So it’s good, I just keep seeing what it is I need to keep working on and do what they say because they all know what they’re talking about.
Q: Was there a point along the way where you felt like you had gotten it, everything was in place, your footwork, mechanics, everything?
Pryor: The first time I went there, they said they had [Tim] Tebow there working with him, and he said that he [Tim Tebow] was ready to go, that he looked good, that he wasn’t missing anything. They then said that he went to camp and he reverted back to his old self. And that was the main thing, to stay with your craft and be sure that what you’ve learned just stays there. That was my key. I hoped that when I was getting rushed that I didn’t go back to the old thing. So, I’m very proud of that. I’m very locked in, and that’s definitely something that I’m proud of.
Q: Was that something that was gradual? Or was it something that you found yourself still reverting back to your old ways?
Pryor: No. I think about it that I told you guys before was that when I miss throws that I know exactly what happened. It’s either I’m missing because I’m reading the body wrong or the receiver cuts off on me or I thought something else was going to happen. I believe that I can throw the ball anywhere, at any time right now. So even if I miss, I know how to fix it the next time if it comes back. The biggest thing too is short-term memory; when you do miss it, you don’t get down on yourself. You kind of talk to yourself and get ready for the next play.
Pryor: I think physical ability helps me quite a bit. There are a lot of plays that – this past Sunday, and even before – I’ve had to make plays off of pure ability. So, that’s just something I thank God for. That’s something that helps me and something that makes the team better. When I can extend plays with my feet, I have to appreciate that and understand that I’ve got to protect myself as well.
Q: When you first got here, did you know how much you needed to learn about the position and the mechanics of the position, or is that only clear now in retrospect?
Pryor: Absolutely. Especially coming into this league there are so many different things to learn: the defenses, pressures, there’s so many things that you have to have an eye for. I think the main thing is that every day I’m trying to find a way to get better, and I knew that coming in, but it didn’t catch me by surprise. I’m a guy who comes in early and leaves late. I just know that to play this position, and how great I want to be, and the places I want to take the team, I know that I have to be sharp and I have to keep learning, keep experiencing, and keep on just getting a feel for the game, because you can never stop learning at this position, at this level, ever.
Q: On some of your scramble plays and roll outs it seems like you could have run for five yards, but then you pass for 10 or 15 yards. Have you found that your wide outs are getting better in tune with where they need to be for you to be able to make those throws? Have you seen improvement from what they’re doing in plays like that?
Pryor: Yeah, absolutely. I think that Denarius [Moore] is starting to get a feel for it. Marcel [Reece] is doing a great job. I see guys working. Defenses are going to cover things up, so they know that if things are covered that they are going to have to start working with me.
Q: Have you found that you can maybe take one extra beat on a throw, where maybe a couple weeks ago you may have tucked and ran? Has there been a little bit more space in there?
Pryor: I’m still feeling that out. There were a couple times, especially in this past game that and in the past too, where I could have taken off and gained some yards, maybe on first or second down. I definitely feel like that if I don’t have a throw that maybe I can just go two or three yards, and I think that will help our offense overall because you always want to stay on schedule for first or second down – you always want some type of yardage.
Q: A guy like [Tom] Brady has said that he always remembers the guys that were drafted ahead of him, and he uses that as motivation. Do you use the fact that you went to the third round of the Supplemental Draft as motivation?
Pryor: I’ll tell you what, I have a bond with my team, and this staff, and I want to do well so those guys can keep their job. And right now, the positions that I’m in, I kind of have the keys to it. So it’s kind of on me in a way, to lead the offense and the defense can do their part – I think we have one of the best defenses in the NFL, personally. So I just want to do my part because it’s very important.
Q: After being shorthanded against the Chargers on Sunday, how much confidence does it give you guys to have those guys coming back?
Pryor: Once we get D-Mac [
Q: When people talk about Alex Smith they talk about his efficiency – managing the game, not turning the ball over. Those are all things that I’m assuming are also important to you?
Pryor: Absolutely. I think that I’m a little bit more risky than him [Alex Smith]. Just from watching him, he does his thing, and that’s him. I just go and play ball. Whatever I see down field, I’m going to take a shot. I know they do a lot of check downs, something like 36% or something like that, that’s efficient, but we want to try and be explosive and we want to try and attack. That’s what I want to do. I want to attack and I want to put the pressure on them … You’ve got to take care of the ball. Like I said, this defense is pretty good, so it’s going to be a good test to not turn the ball over. They’re good. They’re first in the NFL in turnovers, which allows their offense to start on the opponent’s side of the field. So they’re playing good football.
Q: What does it say that the team cut Matt Flynn on Monday, and is now going all in on you, what does that tell you?
Pryor: Nothing really, because they gave me the job the first regular season game. So I’m just going to carry on the same way, try to dominate, try to be the best player on the field, and just try to lead the offense. I can’t think of it any other way, I just have lead the offense and dominate, and try to be the best player on the field … By the way, we really appreciated Matt [Flynn] while he was here. He was a great guy, and business is business. I don’t think there was any elephant in the room.
Q: Having tasted some success, are you seeing defenses approach you any differently? Respecting your passing ability a little bit more, perhaps?Pryor: Absolutely. No matter what they’re playing, you don’t really know if they’re respecting you or not, but you can definitely tell. I think the first game guys didn’t really know what to expect, but they then went and watched me in the preseason playing against Chicago and saw that I could throw it. Also, we have a lot of looks that haven’t been scouted. Every game I went in to – I watched all the film I possibly could on the opposing teams and their defenses, and not a lot of them were giving me the same looks. So we’re going into practice trying to give me a bunch of different coverages and you don’t know what you’re going to get. It’s definitely a big time reaction for the team, and it’s something we enjoy because we want to know how it’s going to happen or how they’re going to stop us. So it’s just something that we enjoy. I think we’ve got to keeping starting fast. I felt like we started fast and then we kind of slowed down, so we’ve got to pick that up … It’s going to be a great game, I’m excited.