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News

QB Terrelle Pryor September 11

Posted Sep 11, 2013

Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor spoke to the media after Wednesday's practice as the Raiders get ready to face the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Q: It’s your first home game starting, how do you think it will differ from the away game you just played?

Pryor: I don’t think any different. I feed off of it, but it’s going to be our electricity instead of trying to quiet the other team’s crowd, so I’ll feed off it, and it’s going to give me another reason to get excited and it’s going to get me ready for the game. It still shouldn’t be different. I’ve still got to handle my job and get guys in and out of the huddle and on the line so we can get our work done.

Q: What do you like about how Rod Streater plays and why is he kind of a go-to guy for you?

Pryor: I wouldn’t call him a go-to guy, but he had a spectacular game. He always come to every single game, and whenever he gets on the field, he reacts to wherever I’m going, so I could see where you would say that he’s a go-to guy, but I think it’s just going to come with learning. I think he has a knack for the ball, not that the other guys don’t, but I think he’s real good at just following and being able to move with me instead of just standing still he moves up and down.

Q: We were talking to [Head] Coach [Dennis] Allen, and he was saying that he thinks you need to [know] when the play is over, when not to take the hit. How do you learn that? Is it a feel, or is that just playing a lot of games?

Pryor: Absolutely. With my competitive nature, the way I think about I’m 238 [pounds], six-foot-five, and I feel like I can take that stuff on. Like I was talking with you guys earlier, I believe you have to play smart because you want to give your team the best chance to win. I believe on third downs, when we’ve got to keep the ball moving when it’s most important, I’ll do whatever I need to do to go get the first. I can’t sit here and lie, because I’m so competitive I might forget. I just need to get down. I absolutely have to. I’ve got guys counting on me and I need to get down.

Q: When you broke to the outside and then gave the stiff arm to [LaRon] Landry, did you get the impression that teammates were fired up when you took on a guy like that, a real physical defensive back?

Pryor: It’s just me being competitive. I was trying to protect myself, obviously he was coming at me full speed and I’m not going to let a guy hit me without me giving some type of force. It was just a play where my left hand went up to give him the stiff arm, but I was just protecting myself. Obviously I didn’t do it to get guys jacked up, but I was just trying to protect myself and trying to make a play and not take a hit.

Q: Away from the interceptions, when you go back and look at the film, are you happy with the decisions you made passing the ball?

Pryor: Absolutely. We have a great sheet and I pretty much graded out at about 95% in decision making. So the decisions I made were phenomenal and if I stay doing that, we’ll be good, and I believe I will. Overall, I have to get the ball out there on that first pick, and on the last one if I had gotten to the spot, we wouldn’t even be talking about that, we’d be 1-0 – definitely on me.

Q: Do you think the success that you have running the ball will open up the lanes passing-wise?

Pryor: It just depends because defensive coordinators think they know how to stop it. It’s not like I was running the ball on a play specifically called for a run. It was just a pass play – that’s where most of my yards came from; off of pass plays where I didn’t have anything and just took off is where most of it came from. Darren [McFadden] didn’t even hit the surface. When he starts going, I believe he’s going to play well this Sunday, and Darren McFadden is just another thing you’ve got worry about.

Q: The one play everyone is talking about is the one to [Rod] Streater because you were running around for about 12 seconds before you finally found him. A lot of those guys you hadn’t worked with on the first team in training camp, but are there certain things you just cannot replicate in practice out on the field with those guys? Is this going to take some time to know where these guys are breaking free and such?

Pryor: In man coverage, when you’re bumping against your man, your timing is going to be off, so I’ve got to know how ‘D-Mo’ [Denarius Moore] is cut in and how D-Mo is going to cut out. I’ve got to know how Rod [Streater] does it, how does he beat the guy inside, how does he beat the man outside; and then you’ve got to throw the ball with timing outside because if a corner is beat, they’re going to come back in real fast so you have to get the ball out in the right time. So you just have to read them and understand the way they move, and I’m getting there.

Q: Going forward, knowing that a lot of teams are zeroing in on you, what type of adjustments do you have to make?

Pryor: I’m just going to play ball and react. I think that’s best. I’m going to study my butt off, get the guys ready and in there to study the film so they understand their jobs, and I’m just going to react off of what the defense does. If a guy is coming to hit me, I’m going to move and leave him. I think that playing football for me is when the exciting stuff happens when I take off and start to make a play, and that’s just a reaction. If nothing is there with the reads, react and make the play.

Q: How much of an emphasis was getting in and out of the huddles this week? There were a few instances during the Colts game where D.A. [Dennis Allen] mentioned that maybe after a long run you see that you’re close and hurry now?

Pryor: Breaking long runs like that, especially when you’re trying to keep the play alive for that long, it gets tiring because I had, I think, 13 runs and three of them were pretty long, then on top of that I’m moving around trying to lose guys and find guys down field to throw the ball. So you just get winded, but I’ve got to keep on getting better at that. I don’t think my conditioning is the issue. I’ve got to figure out a way to get better at that, but it will be a lot better this week, I can promise that.

Q: It seemed like on Sunday the team really fed off your energy, it’s crazy to think, three weeks past you were the second unit quarterback. In terms of leadership do you just have to act like you’ve been there the whole time in terms of taking control of this offense, this team because they’re starting to look to you for leadership?

Pryor: Absolutely. That’s the tricky part, it’s an on and on conversation with guys, and great coaches around the building that I ask for advice.  At first, when it was me and Matt [Flynn] going at it and we were competing, it’s kind of tricky to be a leader and lead guys, because who are they looking at? Me, Matt, who are they looking at to lead them? Now that that’s decided, I’m just going to go out and be myself. I think that’s the best way, because if I try to be somebody else-some of the guys I look up to in the League, this do this, they yell-I’m just going to be myself and I think myself, I want to have success. I think the guys are going to thrive and see I want success so hopefully it rubs off and I believe that it will.

Q: Jacoby [Ford] said earlier in the preseason that you actually were a leader when you were behind Matt Flynn, that you were texting guys, ‘Let’s make big plays tonight,’ you were leaving little notes in their lockers, what is up with that?

Pryor: I try to write the receivers little notes just to be their guy and give them little tips. I try to leave tips because I watch so much film, that’s another thing I’ve been trying to do, is get the guys together, and it’s been successful, getting the guys in. That’s why I believe we had some success against Indianapolis. We had guys like Darren McFadden, Marcel Reece, guys like that who wanted to get better. When they’re in the meeting room with me on an off day, on Tuesday at eight in the morning, that just shows that you want to be successful, and that’s just a burning desire to be successful. I believe if we just keep on getting more people to do that, it’s going to be like a butterfly effect.

Q: Do you want to prove to people you are a good downfield passer?

Pryor: That’s not even a question to me. Whenever the time comes … I missed one to Rod [Streater]. It could have been broken up. [It’s a] 50/50 ball is what coach calls it, just don’t overthrow it. We never want to overthrow a ball. We want to give the guy a chance to go up and make a play. Downfield throws, that’s nothing. I believe in my ability and the guys, they know they have to get on their high horse when we have a downfield ball called because I’m going to get it out there, definitely.

Q: You were talking a lot about seeing the Colts defense kind of huffing and puffing. What did you see from your offensive line? Were they able to keep up with your pace?

Pryor: You know what, I think it was kind of easy on them because the defensive line of Indianapolis was tired. I think it helped them out and they didn’t have to move as much. I was pretty much just eluding guys and doing my thing but they were pretty sharp. Some of the guys were huffing and puffing, but that’s football, that’s what’s going to happen in the huddle, that’s just fighting to get to the next down. That’s why a lot of those guys are in their doing exercises, running on the treadmill and stuff like that, so they’re taking care of that.

Q: You have three new tight ends this year. What are your impressions of those guys so far?

Pryor: Phenomenal. I think they all have different skill sets. [Jeron] Mastrud is just phenomenal. He’s a brainy guy, smart. He knows every single protection, he knows the blocks on all the runs. He knows exactly where he’s supposed to be at. There are times he would tell me, ‘Don’t send the motion, I’ll just get there because I know where I’m supposed to be.’ That’s kind of unique just to have a guy that knows the offense like that. Then you have [Mychal] Rivera, those guys know the offense as well, but Rivera’s just fast. He reminds me of, I know this sounds bad, but he reminds me of [Aaron] Hernandez for the Patriots, big time because he’s just a smooth route runner at the tight end position. He has pretty good, quick feet and great hands. Looking to get [David] Ausberry back soon because that’s another big mismatch we can possibly have, so definitely miss him.

Q: You talked about watching other quarterbacks, is there other elements from different guys that you really want to emulate?

Pryor: Absolutely. My aunt, she said it the best way. When I was in college she said, ‘Hey, guys that are great and they really care about what kind of player they want to be, I’ve seen it before.” This is how she said it, you have a basket right? You see Tom Brady, you put something you like about Tom Brady in the basket. You see Michael Vick, you see [Colin] Kaepernick, RGIII [Robert Griffin III], any of those guys, anyone, just keep putting it in the basket and eventually you just keep adding and trying to get better and seeing where they’re great at, and try to emulate that somewhat, and add it onto your skill, you’re only going to get better.

Q: Can you tell us some of the things that are in your basket?

Pryor: Some of my things in the basket? Definitely. The one step drop off, [Patriots QB Tom] Brady. Just being balanced I believe that gives me 100% more accuracy because I’m just always balanced on the football field. He’s a guy I really like to watch and understand his techniques. I like Robert Griffin’s ball fakes, I stole some of Kaepernick’s ball fakes. It’s just what it is. They do great things, why not try to emulate it and be great and put it in your own style?

Q: Speaking of those quarterbacks, RGIII, and [Michael] Vick and Kaepernick, do you feel like you’ll see more of those quarterbacks in the league that are similar to your style of play?

Pryor: I can’t answer that. I don’t know what it is with that, but I do know from my position that I’m going to do what I’m going to do and do whatever I can do to help this team win and I can only speak for myself. I’m sorry if I can’t answer you any better.

Q: The zone read option, how intimidating is that, how fun is that when that call comes in?

Pryor: It’s fun because there are so many things you can do off of it. You guys will see this Sunday, we may run, we may pass, we may do a play action, you just never know. The most fun thing about going on Sunday, like after the game, after we lost, I was furious. Not furious, but I was upset that we lost, and the first thing that I did was I went on the plane and I started looking at Jacksonville. That’s the most fun thing about playing this sport, especially being a quarterback, is you want to see what these are guys are going to do to you to stop you, and that’s the most fun thing. It’s just a great feeling to see what you’re going to do to try to stop our offense. You want to figure it out so you’re just studying and watching film, your eyes are all red and tired and you just keep watching film. You want to figure out what’s going to happen. So to answer your question, you don’t know, but you want to go back and figure out how they played this guy. The question of it, that’s what is fascinating to me.

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