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Pryor cleaned up some stuff during bye week, became better QB

Some players exited the Raiders facility Wednesday and headed for far-away places, anywhere, to get away from the daily grind of the NFL, if only for a few days. For quarterback Terrelle Pryor, it was business as usual.
See, Pryor isn’t one to take days off. Each day is another opportunity for him to get better. To that end, he spent two days with offensive coordinator Greg Olson and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo watching video and getting a better grasp of “situational football,” Pryor said.
Pryor used another day to work with throwing mechanics guru Tom House, a former major-league pitcher who has carved out a niche as a specialist for athletes seeking ways to improve their throwing.
Olson first recommended House to Pryor this offseason. Pryor followed through, worked with House and returned a refined quarterback. During the bye week, House traveled to Oakland, where he helped Pryor iron out a few kinks.
In particular, Pryor said, House pointed out that Pryor got a bit out of whack with his balance and keeping his ear over his right (back) foot when he throws.
“I wasn’t exploding as much as I should be,” Pryor said. “That was the main thing, getting my balance and getting my ear back there all the time and sitting on the back foot. That was a thing we really attacked and got better at as that bye week progressed.”
By the end of the week, Pryor felt confident that he had tightened up his throwing mechanics, improved his understanding on ways to direct the offense and positioned himself to succeed the final 10 games and beyond.
“I got better,” Pryor said. “It was a great time to get some work in. I didn’t really get any days off. There’s no time to get off anyways. You have to work constantly to improve.”
Pryor said Olson is fond of cautioning against so-called “briefcase coaches and players.”
Here’s Pryor’s explanation for just what that phrase means and how it does nothing to describe his approach to his craft.
A briefcase player is “a guy that after practice and the meeting you just take off and go,” Pryor said. “You have to stay and spend some extra time on your work and your craft because when it comes down to it at the end of the day there’s no replays at the end of the game. It’s for real.
“You’re gonna be looked at how you play and overcome stuff in that game at the end of the day. You have to make sure when you go out there and game day you know what’s going on.”
Few work as hard or as long as Pryor.

– Courtesy of @VicTafur, the Steelers lost their past seven games outside the Eastern Standard Time zone, dating to a Nov. 2011, win at Kansas City. Also, the Steelers are 0-4 on the West Coast since they beat the San Diego Chargers in 2005.

– From the Something Has To Give Department:
The Raiders last won a game coming off a bye in 2002, the season they advanced to the Super Bowl. Since that season, the Raiders are 0-10 in such games. The Steelers last beat the Raiders at the Oakland Coliseum in 1995.
Barring a tie Sunday, one of these streaks is going to end.

– Pittsburgh native Stefen Wisniewski returned to practice Wednesday, just in time to get ready for his first game since Sept. 29 and against a team he grew up rooting for.
Wisniewski doesn’t hide the fact that he’s from Pittsburgh or that he watched them all the time as a youngster. He also makes no bones about wanting to beat the Steelers just a little bit more than other teams.
“It’s cool to play against a team that you grew up watching,” Wisniewski said. “It’s also cool for bragging rights. I spend my offseasons out there, so I want to be able to hold my head high and wear my Raiders gear with pride when I’m walking around Pittsburgh this offseason.”
Coach Dennis Allen said he’s confident that Wisniewski will be able to play Sunday. That takes on added import because of the difficulty in playing against a Dick Lebeau defense, where there’s a heavy burden placed upon the center to pick up potential blitzes in advance and bark out the proper protections.
“Absolutely,” Allen said. “Communication is going to be critical against this defense and making sure we can identify where the rushers are coming from, and Wiz has done a great job of doing that for us all year long so it’s good to have him back out there.”
Wisniewski said there’s similarities between the Raiders defense under Jason Tarver and the Steelers defense. There’s also plenty of differences, such as the way Lebeau disguises his blitzes.
“Tarver likes to bring a lot of overload stuff,” Wisniewski said. “He likes to kind of bluff one side and bring the other side. The Steelers will just kind of have everyone milling around in there and then some of them are coming, some of them are dropping. So, definitely different things but a lot of the same misdirection stuff.”

– With the release of defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi today, the Raiders are down to four players from their 2012 draft class.
Linebacker Nathan Stupar was the first to go, at the end of training camp in 2012. Bilukidi lasted a little more than a year longer. He played in 13 games last season and five this season.
The remaining players are: offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom, linebacker Miles Burris, wide receiver Juron Criner and defensive end Jack Crawford.
Of the six players selected by general manager Reggie McKenzie in his first time spearheading a draft, none has developed into a long-term starter.
Burris flashed last season and earned a starting job when veteran Aaron Curry suffered an injury during the offseason. He’s now on the mend from offseason knee surgery and not assured playing time when he returns.
Criner hasn’t been active for any games this season. Bergstrom is on season-ending injured reserve. He started one game last season. Crawford is a seldom-used backup.

– Running back Darren McFadden had an extra week to heal his hamstring. Allen said it appears as if the added time off helped McFadden quite a bit, as it did the other players.
“I don’t think anybody’s 100 percent at this point in time during the year,” Allen said, “but he looks explosive.”

– If Tony Pashos (hip) and Andre Gurode (knee) aren’t able to play Sunday, Allen said, it’s likely that the Raiders will sign Jack Cornell from the practice squad and place him on the 53-man roster as a means of adding depth.

– Allen stopped shy of calling Sunday’s game a must-win game, but he didn’t shy away from its importance.
“It would be big for us to come off a bye and get this win and start what I’m saying (is the) stretch run of the season, and start it off right,” Allen said. “This isn’t make or break, but this is a big game for us. We need to play well and we need to get in these games against good teams and find out ways to win.”
The Steelers started 0-4 but rebounded with victories in each of their past two games.
“This is a good football team that we’re playing,” Allen said. “They understand how to win. They know what the formula is to win in this league and they’ve done a really good job of it the last couple of weeks.”

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Steve Corkran

  • 0ak R8rs

    Well no matter what happens the rest of the year, and I think there will be more good than bad, we’ve found out a few positive things:

    Reggie, while perhaps not the “draft genius” we all were told he was, doesn’t sit around and wring his hands about it like some of you. He’s not afraid to try to make the team better, regardless of the cost. He’s not in this for style points, that’s for sure.

    Tarver is not an idiot. I never thought he was, always liked him. Now, in a year or two he might be the “next guy” that’s the hot new HC prospect. Wait until we see next years talent. This is gonna be a top 5 defense next year.

    DA is not an idiot. I realize plenty in here won’t agree w me. But he has control of this team, and they seem to be buying in. As long as the HC has the lockerroom, an he’s not a complete drueling moron, he’s ok in my book. Can he be elite? I hope so.

    We r not the worst team in the league. Even in last weeks disaster, we still didn’t look like the worst team in the league. We just looked like a young team w a young QB that got overwhelmed in a bad environment against a very tough defense and some significant injuries on our side. No matter who our QB is, we will see more games like this. Hopefully not many, but it will happen again. Get over it.

  • 0ak R8rs

    Despite what Alex7 and Doc and some others will tell you, we don’t have the worst QB in the league either. We don’t even have the worst QB situation. Take a look at Minnesota? Or Cleveland? And say what you want about Pryor, I’d take him over anything they have over there. And that includes some other teams too.

    Woodson has been a find. Seems a year early for a guy like that, but it is what he is. Maybe he has a couple left in the tank and we can hold onto him? Sure would be nice. Young, in and coming teams like this need that veteran infusion. The coaching in the field. Woodson isn’t a “take you under my arm” kinda guy. But he cares about winning and he knows how to win and how to be a pro. He’s gonna teach these DBs the right way to be.

    We got lots of problems. Young front office. No money. Lack of high end skill position talent. A decimated OL they may not have been all that great to begin with. No elite pass rushers. Two of our best players in contract years and as of now not resigned. A young QB that has some obvious deficiencies. But we aren’t the worst team in the league. Far from it. And we haven’t come close to hitting our ceiling. I’m actually expecting playoffs next year from these guys. I’m expecting 10-6.

  • fingersrdrs

    Im giving Pryor the rest of the season before i decide… To be fair hes got to be given a fair chance…. To soon to close the book on him or give him the keys and title to the car…

  • fingersrdrs

    And No… Pryor is not the worse QB in the league…. Hes got plenty of promise… My question at the end of the season will be ” can he keep that promise”…

  • hwnrdr

    Good Morning Nation!!! Cannot wait!!!

  • spiff

    ” with their first pick in the 2014 NFL draft, Oakland Raiders select, Mike Evans., WR. Texas A&M ” ……….
    6’5″ , 225 ………. best hands in college with tremendous speed.

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    U GUY’S TALK TO MUCH..UR GIVING ME A HEADACHE..

  • hwnrdr

    Is he the one that people have said that the real credit should go to? NOT Johnny Football?

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    bunch of old hens, eh DLF?

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    beware of keeping streaks alive like 6 straight wins @ Arrowhead. the bye week curse will be gone too after we destroy the Steelers at home.. If you’ll notice Pryor never has 2 bad games back2back, always a nice bounce-back

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    Dallas (good) New Orleans (bad) Chicago (great) Seattle (bad) Indy (good) Jags (average) Denver (good) San Diego (great) Kansas City (awful) … that’s Pryor’s season so far = inconsistent

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    YOUNGSTERS THESE DAY’S..NO RESPECT.:)

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    I just learned that Marquette’s father is named Rodney. uh oh. que Mistic !!

  • R8erEduc8er

    That’s fair. Hopefully, his best will be this week after the bye. I’m still in his corner.

  • R8erEduc8er

    Best hands in college is Sammy Watkins. Love Evans size though.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    oh heck yeah. without a doubt. Pryor is the best QB we’ve had since Gannon & Allen is the best HC we’ve had since Gruden. the future is bright for Raider fans. gotta finish strong this season. 6 wins minimum and zero blowout losses imo. i’m thinking 8-8 is possible, even with all the injuries and this crap roster Reggie handed DA

  • SnBG

    Good morning nation. Get the Oline fixed.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    Rams want Brett Favre.

  • R8erEduc8er

    Agreed.

  • SnBG

    I don’t get the Reg isn’t a good drafter talk. Hayden is getting high marks on his rookie play. Watson will be good. Murray may turn out to be a beast. Rivera and Kasa have a lot of promise. On the FA side Reg has done a fabulous job. What are you guys looking at. Wait till next year when we have the money and draft picks. Look at most of the rookie class this year and no one is taking the league by storm.

  • R8erEduc8er

    The St. Louis Rams, desperate for a quarterback like seemingly half the NFL is these days, called Brett Favre this week, according to ESPN. The franchise wanted to see if Favre would unretire for the umpteenth time and give it one last final shot, after all the other one last final shots.
    ************************
    Now that’s desperation.

  • Davy Jones

    I see a red shirt on the right with his man beat. “Clean Pocket”? You cherry pick . . .

  • hwnrdr

    LOL

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    SnBG, thanks for the heavy dose of Kool-Aid this morning. truth is nobody knows for sure whether or not any of the players Reggie has drafted will become stars or even starters for us. I like DJ Hayden and was glad we drafted him, but he’s a work in progress. Like Reggie himself said “I sure hope he’s better the last 4 weeks of the season than the first 4 weeks of the season. we just want to see progress”. It’s useless trying to talk up anybody else besides maybe Sio Moore & Mike Rivera – they have upside and potential. We’ll see whether or not it’s realized in Oakland. These guys probably only got an opportunity due to Burris & Ausberry injuries if we’re being honest. Tarver just told you what #55 is working on. Rivera needs more polish as well

  • Charlie

    SnB
    Anyone that wants to criticize Reggie’s draft accumen is an idiot.
    The 2012 draft was nothing but supplemental picks. Just getting Streater was a home run as a udfa.
    2013 was his first real draft and to your point, many of that class look good. Do not expect much money to be spent on big time FA’s in 2014. We will spend money on guys we want to keep and continue to draft players who want to play football.
    I still see us being 20-30 million UNDER the cap next year.
    Very few FA’s perform up to their contracts. In the cap era that is fatal.

  • hwnrdr

    I can see Pryor bouncing back in front of the home crowd! I always hope for a good game but dammit, can they finally put someone away early so we don’t have that heartattack waiting to happen with a minute left! :)

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Miss Tick’s been very busy these past 11 days. Doubt she’s even had time to log on here, let alone read any comments. Very important business. Got the phone call around the end of the Raiders/Chefs game, coincidntally.

  • SnBG

    Exactly my point. It’s way to early to say Reg’s drafting ability is flawed. All rookies need work and come into the league unpolished.

  • R8erEduc8er

    I don’t get it either. Folks just like to complain about things. I like RM’s eye for talent. I think he knows what an NFL football player looks like. Injuries have plagued quite a few of his picks. The entire defense is NEW and IMPROVED from last year and that gets overlooked somehow which is quite a headscratcher imo. RM hasn’t addressed the offense yet. If Pryor turns out to be the guy, RM’s job reconstructing the offense will be a lot easier.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Good Morning Raider Nation!!!

    It’s a Beautiful Day to be a Raider Fan, Isn’t it?

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    Pryor is undefeated at home and we own the Steelers in Oakland since 1995. Wiz II is ready to have a big game against them and McFadden looked “explosive” in practice this week. Motivated to end the post bye week blues. Raiders 21 Squeelers 20. Seabass misses 2 FG’s making this game closer than it should have been

  • SnBG
  • Charlie

    We will not put the Steelers away early. If we can not run the ball with our running backs, it could be just like the Chiefs game. My concern is Pryor staying healthy.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    go look at the Top 115 draft picks again. plenty of names stick out. Unfortunately we were handed Watson & Wilson instead of productive football players.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    Purvis = wannabe HD37?

  • hwnrdr

    Maybe, maybe not, but just saying in general…if they have a chance to, I’m hoping for it!

  • hwnrdr

    Man, don’t say that about Jano…LOL

  • SnBG

    Reg clearly went for upgrading the D this year. FA in some ways is like a draft in that some of the Free agents will work out and some won’t. How many criticized him for getting Sims and Walker and now look at what they’ve done. How about the criticism of Porter. Lets give the guy a couple of more years here to decide if he is a bad drafter or not.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Back in the day(early to mid-eighties)even though some have read of the Raiders greatness and some actually witnessed it, fact is, we called ‘em the cardiac kids. Difference was, back then they’d finally wake up and say, ‘Oh, we better score some pts’ and usually do it.

  • SnBG

    Got to run folks. Lets hope the Oline can handle Pitt.

  • Charlie

    FA’s are OK. Just not big ticket guys.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    until he gets his mind right, he will continue to struggle imo – do we have a therapist on staff? or maybe a partyboy clown to go get the Polish meatball hammered before games? you know LaMonte Winston & Pastor Kaufman aren’t handing out booze or pills to drown sorrows

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I’m more like WD40. What are you talking about?

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    “It’s a Beautiful Day to be a Raider Fan, Isn’t it?” Purv – that’s a line from Hayes Dayes 37 … the old semi pro blogger who loved to argue. you are much like him actually, so i’m not surprised you’re stealing his sayings

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Didn’t think you could be that much under the cap with the the CBA. Or do you mean looking toward 2015 next year, similar to saying we’re 40-60 mil under now looking toward next year?

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Hadn’t had my coffee yet. I used to include ‘with apologies to Hayes DAZE 37′. He wasn’t argumentative, and I’m not anymore either. Much.
    Besides, Hayes said ‘Isn’t it a Great Day to be a Raider Fan?’.
    Completely different.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    5 days until the Miami Heat season opener #whitehot #3peat

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    FYI: Just did some checking and confirmed that Bilukidi is NOT Practice Squad-eligible.

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    Code Heathen!

  • Charlie

    Bilukidi is a backup DT. Just like Kelly and Bryant. Just not as expensive. Our starting front seven is light years better than last year’s overpaid clowns, making Bilikidi’s limitations that much more obvious. Nice guy, below average player.