Terrelle Pryor is at the Raiders’ minicamp this week trying to demonstrate that he’s a quarterback first and an athlete second.
Pryor talked to reporters in Oakland today and said that while it’s true that he’s a good athlete who ran for more than 2,000 yards at Ohio State and could have played Division I college basketball, he’s primarily a pocket passer. Pryor said he’s often wrongly lumped in with college quarterbacks who thrived in a spread offense.
“A lot of people don’t know that at Ohio State I didn’t really run a spread offense, where you’re running around and stuff,” Pryor said. “I was in the pocket going through progressions. Maybe not four or five like I’m doing here, but I did a good bit, and I completed a lot of balls under center. Obviously I’m an athlete so I always think I can out-run anybody or whatever the case may be — I believe in my ability — but sometimes you’ve got to get the ball into other guys’ hands and just be the point guard. That’s all I’m trying to do, stay in the pocket and get it to the right guys.”
Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFillippo has singled out Pryor for praise this offseason, and Pryor says that he’s trying to become just the kind of quarterback DeFillippo wants him to be.
“If something breaks down I can get out and make a play, but I just try to stay in the pocket, go through my progressions and do exactly what the coaches want,” Pryor said.
Pryor has no chance of unseating Carson Palmer as the Raiders’ starting quarterback, and he’s an underdog to beat out Matt Leinart as the No. 2 quarterback as well. But Pryor has the right attitude: He wants to prove that he can be a pocket passer in an NFL offense, and if he keeps working he’ll get that opportunity somewhere.