By Steve Corkran
Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 at 3:49 pm in Oakland Raiders.
ALAMEDA — Quarterback Terrelle Pryor said Wednesday that he feels “great” and that he is making solid progress toward being able to play Sunday against the Washington Redskins.
Pryor suffered a concussion against the Denver Broncos on Monday night, and he missed practice today because he hasn’t been cleared by team doctors, as is mandated by the league’s concussion protocol.
He said he intends to take another test today. If he passes that test, he will be allowed to practice Thursday.
For now, Matt Flynn is taking first-team reps and the Raiders are preparing to go that direction until further notice.
Pryor said the concussion he suffered is his first one. He said he was team doctors told him that he suffered a “mild” one “because I’m doing very well. They said I’m taking very good steps towards being able to play.”
Then again, Pryor said, he needs some practice time before he’s able to play Sunday.
“I’m not Peyton (Manning),” Pryor said. “I do need experience. It’s definitely what I lack. I need experience. I need more time with my guys. That’s what I’ve lacked this whole season, starting from the first game. So who am I to say that I can do that, but I’m going to pray, pray to God that I can and I can lead the team if I’m healthy to do it. I need experience. Who am I to say I don’t need practice, because I do.”
Broncos linebacker Wesley Woodyard delivered the helmet-to-facemask hit on Pryor late in the game. Allen said he didn’t see anything wrong with the hit. Pryor had quite a different take.
“I thought it was helmet-to-helmet,” Pryor said. “He should get fined, definitely. I don’t really have any other, any more comment about it. I felt it was an illegal hit.”
As for Pryor’s mixed-signals Tweets on Tuesday, he said he started to remember what happened in Monday’s game soon after he awakened.
– Flynn on Wednesday gave his first extensive interview since he lost the starting job to Pryor. He spoke briefly after the Broncos game but steered clear of talking about anything other than that game.
On Wednesday, he said he is preparing to start Sunday and making sure he is ready to play, even if he isn’t the starter, just as he does every week.
And if he gets the nod Sunday, Flynn said he will be trying to help the Raiders win the game and not out there to prove his critics wrong.
“I’m not going to try to prove anything,” Flynn said. “If I did get the chance to play. then I’m going to play the best I can. I’m going to go out and lay it on the line and try to do the things that I can to help this team win. Nothing has shaken my confidence in myself.”
He said he leaned on family, friends and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to help him deal with losing the starting job during training camp.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said last week that he felt as if Flynn’s sore right arm “betrayed” him and played into the decision to go with Pryor.
Flynn said he’s just trying to learn from the experience, which also happened to him last season when the Seattle Seahawks bypassed Flynn for rookie Russell Wilson.
“I don’t think it even needs to be said I was disappointed,” Flynn said. “For sure. I prepared the best I could and things didn’t work out. It’s not my decision to make, it’s not my job to make those kinds of decisions. It’s something that you try to learn from. I can promise you it hasn’t shaken my confidence. I still believe I can be a really good player it’s just one of those things to learn from and just keep preparing because you never know.”
– Rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden missed a handful of tackles against the Broncos and was beaten by Broncos receivers more than once.
Hayden wasn’t alone in those categories, to be sure. Allen said it’s just a sure sign that Hayden isn’t a polished product yet, even though Hayden was selected in the first round of the NFL draft in April.
“He’s still learning,” Allen said. “He still has a long way to go. I like the talent. I like the ability, but he has the ability to succeed, but I’d like to see him be more aggressive. As things begin to come his way and he starts to make some plays, you’ll see that confidence and that aggressive nature will come out a little bit more. You see it at times, but my challenge for him is to have confidence and be more aggressive as a football player.”
– Third-year wide receiver Denarius Moore shined against the Broncos on Monday night. For a rare time of late, he showed some of the skills that made him such a revelation his rookie season.
The next step is putting together a string of good games and finding the kind of consistency that defines a top-tier receiver, Allen said.
“It would be huge for his confidence, for the confidence of this football team,” Allen said. “He’s a guy that we count on, he has playmaking ability and he showed it the other night. Really we’re looking for the consistency of being able to do that on a game in and game out basis.”
Allen said in training camp that he wanted to see Moore or another player step up and seize the mantle of No. 1 receiver. It sounds as if Allen thinks Moore is capable of being that guy.
“He’s a good football player and he’s going to continue to develop, he’s going to continue to get better,” Allen said. “I’m not worried about Denarius Moore, when you look up at the end of the year you’re going to say he made a lot of good plays for us.”
– Here’s the practice report from Wednesday:
Did not participate — strong safety Tyvon Branch (leg), Jason Hunter (quadriceps), Pryor and offensive tackle Menelik Watson;
Limited — linebacker Sio Moore (concussion), guard Lucas Nix (ankle), fullback Jamize Olawale (ankle) and cornerback Tracy Porter (concussion).