NAPA –Terrelle Pryor likely won’t be the Oakland Raiders starting quarterback when the regular season begin, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be super glued to the sideline.
The 24-year old has had an impressive start to training camp, showing vast improvements in accuracy and decision-making. While Pryor’s still taking second-team reps behind presumptive starter Matt Flynn, sometimes unsure in his reads and sometimes late delivering the ball, his superiors have been impressed by his progress.
New offensive coordinator Greg Olson said this offseason that he planned to design packages that take advantage of Pryor’s athleticism.
On Saturday afternoon, Pryor confirmed it.
“The packages we’re talking about have a lot to do with our offense,” Pryor said. “We’re still going down the field with the ball. We’re still throwing timing routes. It’s just a package to get me on the field, and run the same plays that Matt Flynn, Tyler Wilson and Matt McGloin are running. It’s the same stuff. It’s just me, that and some pistol stuff. Stuff like that.”
The versatile pistol offense has become popular in the NFL recently, and works best with an athletic quarterback who can run well and throw downfield. Several teams use it as a base formation at times, including the San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins.
The read option, a trendy aspect of the pistol that involves a quarterback who decides what to do with the ball based on how defenders react, is typically run professionally by quarterbacks that match Pryor’s skill set.
There’s no telling exactly how much pistol a Pryor package would entail, when it would be used (the red zone, anyone?) or how often.
If practice is any indication – preseason games will be a more accurate marker – Pryor is better prepared for increased role than he was last season.
“I think Terrelle’s progressing,” head coach Dennis Allen said. “All he has to do is keep his head down and keep working. But he has improved, and he’s gotten better every day. That’s what we expect.”
I spoke to Pryor and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo about the mechanics behind Pryor’s improved accuracy and poise. Look for a longer story bright and early Monday morning at CSNBayarea.com and CSNCalifornia.com.