The Oakland Raiders will travel to the east coast this week to play the Carolina Panthers. Last week the team finally used quarterback Terrelle Pryor for one series, after having him activated the previous two weeks but not putting him in the game. This week, Oakland could use Pryor in third down situations and in the redzone.
“From a standpoint of trying to help get a first down for us, you’ll see him a little on third downs, you’ll see him maybe in the red zone, try to create a different look for the defense to contend with,” Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Knapp said. “It won’t be so much the structure of last week where he had a series.”
The Raiders have struggled mightily in the redzone this season, scoring touchdowns on just over 40 percent of their trips. Pryor could be a solution to those woes because of his combination of size, strength, and athletic ability. Oakland has only three rushing touchdowns this season. At 6-5, 230 pounds Pryor has the size to convert those goal to go redzone situations. He also has the passing acumen to keep defenses honest.
Starting quarterback Carson Palmer will still get the vast majority of playing time. Oakland feels like he gives them the best chance to win games. Pryor is expected to see some playing time, but it is undetermined how much.
“It would be nice to get some of the game experience too, but we still want to get ourselves a win any way we can and Carson right now gives us the best chance to do that,” Knapp said of Pryor's progression. “But I’ve been pleased to see the progress he’s made during the season, no doubt.”
Pryor's biggest contribution to the Raiders this week could be simulating Carolina quarterback Cam Newton in practice. Few players has the make-up to give a defense a preview of what Newton is capable of on the field. Pryor shares some of the same attributes as Newton and could give the Raiders the edge needed in stopping the former number one overall NFL Draft pick.
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