By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, August 22nd, 2011 at 8:38 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Highlights from an eventful day during which the Raiders got a lot faster with the supplemental draft selection of Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor and the return to action of Darren McFadden, Jacoby Ford and rookie Taiwan Jones:
– Anyone really surprised the Raiders took Pryor? Simply too big, too fast and too talented to pass up with a third-round draft pick. Hue Jackson wasn’t his usual expansive self when discussing Pryor, realizing the quarterback’s not yet in camp and there’s no sense building up a buy who won’t be eligible for the first five weeks of the season.
Interesting that Pryor would tell Monday Night Football’s Mike Tirico he’ll follow the lead on Al Davis as to whether to appeal his suspension. The suspension is actually a good thing for the Raiders, and not just because they save $100,000 in salary.
It means Oakland doesn’t have to decide which player to cut for five weeks, since Pryor doesn’t count against the 53-man roster. By the time the sixth game rolls around, attrition will probably take care of any dilemmas.
– Jackson said Pryor would be a quarterback. For now. He also said he’d do anything to score a touchdown, even if it meant putting in something special for Pryor.
– Shouldn’t be any surprise that McFadden practiced as if he had never been away. He exploded to the perimeter on more than one occasion and made an over-the-shoulder catch some 45 yards down field from Trent Edwards against linebacker Quentin Groves, who actually had better coverage than you’d think.
Jackson conceded he might just leave McFadden in “cellophane” for the remainder of the preseason. No sense risking your best offensive player.
– Ford did less, but seemed to have no trouble catching the ball. He said afterward he wasn’t concerned about catching hard throws at awkward angles and is good to go.
– Defensive end Trevor Scott was activated from the physically unable to perform list and got in a lot of work. Looks like he’ll stick with the ends for now and not yo-yo between end and outside linebacker.
– Quarterback Jason Campbell sat out practice. Jackson said it was his call but conceded Campbell had not yet passed all the concussion tests. Campbell told Comcast SportsNet he had “whiplash.”
With Campbell out, Edwards and Kyle Boller got all the work in team sessions and were not sharp. A lot of balls on the ground, many passes behind receivers. Jackson attributed it to different rotations with Campbell being out of action.
– Safety Mike Mitchell was on crutches with his undisclosed injury. No telling when he’ll be back.
– Tight end Kevin Boss, out two to six weeks according to one report, was vigoriously pedaling on stationary bike during practice, working hard enough that a good guess would be closer to two weeks than six.
– Linebacker Travis Goethel left practice with an undisclosed injury.
– Running back Taiwan Jones got loose on one of his carries during the team session and broke free down the left sideline, pulling away from defenders as if on rails.
When Jones returned to the sideline, he was immediately greeted by an excited corps of runners including McFadden and Rock Cartwright.