By Steve Corkran
Saturday, August 27th, 2011 at 11:48 am in Oakland Raiders.
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor signed a four-year contract with the Raiders on Thursday night, made his way to Napa on Friday morning and practiced with his new teammates for the first time.
His first practice featured a handful of reps in full-team drills and included nine passes. Pryor completed only four of his passes and looked rather shaky.
Still, Pryor’s confidence remains intact, and he is certain that he has what it takes to play quarterback in the NFL. That subject was one of many he touched upon during an eight-minute interview. Here is the complete transcript:
Q: How was Day 1?
A: “It was fun interacting with the other quarterbacks here. It was a good time. It was a lot of information in one day, but I’ll get used to it.”
Q: What was coach Jackson saying to you?
A: “He was just helping me out. He’s a great coach. I enjoy him a lot and I look forward to working with him.”
Q: How much work will you be able to get done before the suspension kicks in?
A: “I would say the rewind and the problem is that now I’m 17, 18 days, practices behind right now. I’m just playing catchup right now. Some of the stuff is getting there, and I’m starting to get familiar with some of the stuff. But it’s been one day. Give me a couple of days, and I should be able to fill it in and feel a lot more comfortable.”
Q: What do you hope to accomplish your rookie season?
A: “I don’t know. Just help out and help to win. Get in, get my feet wet a little bit and just really learn off of Jason Campbell and the other quarterbacks here because they’ve been around the block.”
Q: How much fun have you had the past two days?
A: “I wouldn’t say fun because I traveled yesterday for about, what, 17 hours. They had delays because of that Irene and bringing with it the weather. I don’t know if I call that exactly fun, but it’s fun that I was able to get an opportunity to come out here and now I’m out here. So, it’s fun that I’m back on the practice field.”
Q: Were you nervous the first day of school?
A: “Not nervous, but you’re getting so much information and you’re just trying to … my mind wants to accomplish it, I want to accomplish it. But it’s just overwhelming.”
Q: Were you OK with coach Jackson throwing you right into the mix?
A: “The biggest thing was I had to get the cadence down. I was learning the cadence. At first, coach was playing around with me, saying he was going to embarrass me and stuff like that. I had fun. I’m learning and I like the way coach makes his quarterbacks learn.”
Q: How important is it to be low key at first?
A: “This right here probably isn’t the best thing right here. But, just pretty much be quiet, talk when I’m supposed to talk and just learn. I’m behind the 8-ball and I’m just trying to learn and get as many things done as I can possible.”
Q: How disappointed are you at being suspended?
A: “It’s a disappointment because I’ve never sat out any games, even when I was hurt. I tried as much as I could and I played, even when I was hurt. Not being allowed to play in a game and miss games, I don’t really know. When you ask me next time, I probably could be able to tell you what it feels like. Right now, I’m just trying to play catch up and get the information as much as I can.”
Q: Was the judgment fair?
A: “It’s what the call was. Like I said before, I didn’t have to be in the supplemental draft, and I was allowed in. I’m just going to take the opportunity. I’m not going to bad mouth it or give my opinion on the good side, bad side. It goes both ways. I’m just glad they gave me the opportunity. That’s all I can really answer on that.”
Q: What do you say to critics who say you can’t play QB at this level?
A: “Ask coach Jackson.”
Q: He said you’re a QB?
A: “Yeah, ask him after a couple of practices.”
Q: Feel as if you have something to prove?
A: “No, I don’t have … Obviously, anytime you come in fresh, you have something to prove. I’m just trying to get better. I’m not here to answer any critics. I’m just trying to answer myself. I’m the biggest critic. I don’t really hear the other critics anyway. I’m the biggest critic and I’m just trying to prove it to myself. That’s all I’m trying to do.”
Q: What have your conversations with managing general partner Al Davis been like?
A: I haven’t met him yet face to face. I’ve chatted with him a couple times on the phone. He’s just an aggressive guy and he loves to win. That’s what I get out of him.
Q: Impressions of Jason Campbell, and what is the relationship like?
A: He’s great. That goes for all the quarterbacks, they’re great, helping me and just trying to catch me up as fast as possible. Jason Campbell he’s a great quarterback.
Q: Jason said guys teasing him for looking like your older brother, you feel that way?
A: He carries himself like a professional. I can’t speak any more highly of him. That’s all you can say. He just carries himself like that, acts like that. He’s a great person. I look forward to working with him.
Q: Are you determined to be QB in NFL?
Q: Hue said he will play to strengths, what are yours?
A: That’s why we’re out here on the practice field trying to find it out. I don’t know. I don’t know what he’s envisioning.
Q: What were strengths at Ohio State?
A: A lot. It’s too hard to break down for you in the time I have. I’m sure you’ll see it whenever I get on the field and have a chance.
Q: Thoughts on how Raiders been playing on offense and how you can contribute?
A: I haven’t really thought much of that because they have a quarterback right now. Right now I’m behind the eight ball trying to catch up. I have a lot of catching up to do.
Q: Have you watched much of them of late?
A: Yeah. I watched the offense sitting at home on TV. But you can’t really break things down because you don’t know if someone ran the wrong route or the throw. You can’t really break things down like that. You have to be in the film room and know exactly what the plays are and see what really went wrong and not judge off of TV.
Q: How fearful were you that you would not be in supplemental draft?
A: I was fearful because I didn’t want to sit out a year. Things worked out for the best. I’m happy about that.
Q: What did you tell NCAA about all the cheating you did at OhioState?
A: I’d prefer not to answer questions about the NCAA.
Q: This feel like a fresh start personally and professionally?
A: Yes sir. I’m just happy to be here and ready to start fresh and ready to learn as much information as I can possible. I can just breathe and feel a lot better. I’m happy. I’m ready to get going.
Q: Last time you played something other than QB?
A: I think it was my freshman year. I always played running back because I had a lot of speed and always go on these sweeps and stuff right and left and things like that. I love playing the quarterback position and I can’t envision myself playing anything else. I truly enjoy it.
Q: What No. 6 instead of No. 2?
A: Coach won’t let me wear No. 2. Why, I don’t know? You tell me. He won’t let me wear No. 2. I’m just going off what coach tells me.
Q: When you ran so fast at your workout, did you hear talk that Raiders would take you?
A: Nah. I had no clue what was going on. I was getting ready for the draft process.
Q: Can you compare this challenge to anything else in your life?
A: In terms of what.
Q: Starting as fourth QB and trying to accomplish what you want?
A: I don’t understand.
Q: Uphill battle?
A: It’s a challenge anytime you want to go somewhere and you aren’t there quite yet. Even when you get there it’s still a challenge to stay where you’re at. I’m just looking forward to getting better. I’m No. 4 right now. That’s OK. I have a lot to learn. This is my first day.