Raiders pleased with Pryor’s progress

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.”