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Raiders coach: Pryor 'working hard'
Suspended for the first five contests of the NFL season, Pryor will be cleared to begin practicing with his teammates and potentially play after Oakland’s game Sunday at Houston.
“He’s working hard,” Raiders head coach Hue Jackson told me and co-host Jim Miller on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “He’s learning the system because he can be in meetings. He can see. He can listen. He just can’t practice.
“He’s been taking that information and trying to do everything he can to be the best he can be. I think he’s looking forward to having the opportunity to be out here and working with his teammates.”
Last Friday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell upheld an appeal of Pryor’s five-game suspension for what the league has described as “manipulating the draft process.” Pryor, who was facing a minimum five-game suspension at Ohio State for the 2011 college season, announced his plans to turn pro in June but needed to hire an attorney to wrangle with NFL officials for entry into the supplemental draft.
The Raiders chose Pryor in the third round when the draft finally was held in late August (Oakland will forfeit a corresponding pick in April’s college draft). Pryor didn’t appear in a preseason game but has impressed Jackson with how he has carried himself inside team headquarters.
“We keep the line of communication open,” Jackson said. “He is a very forthcoming young man. If there’s something on his mind he’ll let you know, which I really respect and appreciate. We talk every day. I see him in meetings and he’s very attentive. That’s a great start for him. Now once the real football starts for him pretty soon, we’ll see exactly where he is.”
Although Jason Campbell is entrenched as Oakland’s starting quarterback, Jackson didn’t dismiss the possibility of Pryor playing at some point during the 2011 season. Oakland (2-2) potentially could use the 6-foot-6 Pryor at wide receiver or in wildcat packages.
Asked whether Pryor would be used in some capacity when eligible to play, Jackson said, “We’ll have a better idea once we get him out there, but I think he has some skill. We’ll try to find something to do with that skill.”
Pryor was 31-4 in three seasons as Ohio State’s starting quarterback. He faced suspension at Ohio State for receiving payola that affected his amateur standing and college eligibility.