Even as a backup, Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor would write notes to wide receivers and leave them in their lockers after seeing something on video he thought might help.
The former Ohio State standout studied the NFL’s best quarterbacks and tried to learn something from each of them — Tom Brady’s balance and one-step drop, Robert Griffin III’s arm angles and Colin Kaepernick’s ball fakes.
And he would watch his own team from the sideline and try to stay involved in the game. Then he’d watch replays on his own time to figure out what he’d do if he was the starter.
The 24-year-old quarterback is finally comfortable enough to talk about his experiences publicly with the same strut and swagger he has always walked around the Raiders facility with. And for the first time, Pryor can finally take everything he’s done since Al Davis picked him in the third round of the 2011 supplemental draft — the late owner’s last pick — and put it to use as a leader on the field.
Pryor progressed enough during the preseason to start over Matt Flynn. He showed enough promise in a 21-17 loss at Indianapolis in Week 1 to keep the job heading into Oakland’s home opener against Jacksonville (0-1) on Sunday. And now the Raiders hope he will produce enough to be the franchise’s quarterback the rest of the season and beyond.
“At first, when it was me and Matt going at it, it’s kind of tricky to be a leader and lead guys, because who are they looking at? Me? Matt?” Pryor said Wednesday. “Now that that’s decided, I’m just going to go out and be myself. The guys are going to thrive and see that, that I want success. Hopefully, it just rubs off and I believe it will.”
After refusing to announce his starter last week for “competitive” reasons, Raiders coach Dennis Allen appears ready to ride Pryor the rest of the season.
Pryor completed 19-of-29 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown and set a Raiders franchise record for rushing by a quarterback with 112 yards on 13 carries against the Colts. He became the eighth quarterback since the 1970 merger to throw for at least 200 yards and run for at least 100 in a single game.
Allen said he’d still like to see Pryor get back to the huddle quicker following big runs to avoid clock-management issues. He’s also talked to the 6-foot-5, 238-pound quarterback about sliding or getting out of bounds to avoid big hits.
Charles expects to play
Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is expected to be available for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys after bruising his quad in last weekend’s win at Jacksonville.
Charles ran for 77 yards and a touchdown before hurting his quad in the second half of a 28-2 rout of the Jaguars. He went to the locker room, then returned to the field for one play, before coach Andy Reid decided to give him the rest of the afternoon off.
Reid said that Charles participated in a walkthrough Wednesday morning and he “might do a little bit” during the Chiefs’ afternoon practice. Reid said that “we’re just taking it slow, but I think he’ll be OK for the game.”
Vikings’ Williams back
Defensive tackle Kevin Williams returned to practice for the Minnesota Vikings after missing the season opener with an injured right knee.
Williams was back on the field Wednesday as the Vikings began preparations for the game Sunday at Chicago. Williams suffered a bone bruise and hyperextension of his right knee in the third preseason game at San Francisco.
Cornerback Champ Bailey worked on a side field with strength and conditioning coach Luke Richesson during the Denver Broncos’ practice Wednesday, and middle linebacker Wesley Woodyard also was held out.
Bailey hasn’t practiced since spraining his left foot Aug. 17. Woodson injured his right ankle in the Broncos’ opener.
Around the league
The Carolina Panthers re-signed defensive tackle Sione Fua and placed guard Garry Williams on injured reserve with a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee. … New York Jets wide receiver Jeremy Kerley will not play in the team’s game at New England tonight because of a concussion. … Seattle coach Pete Carroll is hopeful the Seahawks will get starting cornerback Brandon Browner back in time for Sunday night’s game with the San Francisco 49ers. Browner injured a hamstring.