ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Terrelle Pryor is still far from being a polished quarterback for the Oakland Raiders and isn’t likely to move up the depth chart any time soon.
His footwork needs improvement and he’s still trying to get comfortable staying in the pocket instead of taking off on a run as he did many times in college.
Pryor is making progress, though. He put up 227 yards of offense and threw a pair of touchdown passes in the second half of the Raiders’ 31-20 preseason win over Detroit in what was easily the highlight of his young NFL career.
“He had his good plays and he had his bad plays,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Sunday. “The thing I was impressed with was there was progress. He made a couple of nice throws. (The Lions) came with pressure and he was able to get outside of the pocket and make a couple of nice throws.”
More than the numbers, Allen liked Pryor’s command of the huddle and his communication. Those were two issues the third-string quarterback struggled with in training camp.
Against Detroit, Pryor played with the second-string offense because backup quarterback Matt Leinart sat out with an injured index finger on his non-throwing hand.
Pryor appeared calm and relaxed while leading Oakland on three scoring drives in the second half.
He broke free on a 59-yard run in the third quarter, then scrambled for a 17-yard touchdown after stepping up in the pocket to avoid a sack.
Pryor later threw touchdown passes of 39 and 76 yards to rookie wide receiver Juron Criner, the second of which came after Pryor rolled to his right and had to throw back across his body.
“It was a good time,” Pryor said after the game. “I love this feeling and I want more of it.”
Equally important was that Pryor kept the offense moving with few, if any, hiccups.
“The thing that we worked on with him all week and have really been stressing to him is getting in the huddle, getting out, getting to the line of scrimmage and getting the play run,” Allen said. “We were a lot better in that regard and you saw the results in the play of the offense in the second half.”
Pryor’s performance overshadowed another shaky afternoon by starting quarterback Carson Palmer. Palmer completed 17 of 26 throws for 181 yards but threw two interceptions. He has been picked off in each of the Raiders’ first three preseason games.
Oakland also lost kicker Sebastian Janikowski to a groin injury following a kickoff late in the second quarter. Allen said the injury doesn’t appear to be too serious and expects Janikowski to be fine for the Raiders’ season opener against San Diego on Sept. 10.
“That would be my assumption after seeing him today,” Allen said during a conference call. “He’s a little tight but it doesn’t seem to be a real pull (or) defect in the muscle. I don’t anticipate that being anything that carries over into the regular season.”
That counted as good news for the Raiders, who continue to be without several key members of the offense.
Center Stefen Wisniewski (calf) has already been ruled out of Thursday’s preseason finale in Seattle, while wide receivers Denarius Moore (hamstring) and Jacoby Ford (ankle) are questionable.
Defensive lineman Richard Seymour did not play against Detroit because of arthritis in his knee, according to Allen.
“He gets a little pain, a little swelling,” Allen said. “We have to be able to manage that.”