Raiders

Allen: Pryor not ready to be backup quarterback yet

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Allen: Pryor not ready to be backup quarterback yet

CHARLOTTE -- All season long, Terrelle Pryor has played the role of good soldier.

The third-string quarterback has said the right things about biding his time, about learning at the knee of Carson Palmer, about waiting for his time to come and not being impatient or frustrated.

But after Palmer was knocked out in the first quarter, Matt Leinart was uneven and Pryor was used as a wrinkle three times in the Raiders' 17-6 loss to Carolina Sunday, might Pryor have shown a glimpse of his true feelings?

Pryor, who simulated Panthers' quarterback Cam Newton on scout team, was actually downgraded in practice this week.

Asked about playing, Pryor was tight-lipped: "It's just playing football, you know? It's what I've been playing my whole life. It's something I like to do."

On what his plays showed: "I just do what I'm asked to do and that's it. Whatever I show, I show."

On if he thought he should have been used more: "I'm just a player. I don't have any expertise in coaching."

On if he expects to play more next week: "Not sure. I know I played three decent plays, but I didn't play a lot."

On how he seemed more upset than usual: "I'm upset that we lost. I think we should have won and more plays we could have made. But it's the game of football. They get paid just like us. Hats off to them. We'll go in next week and do the same thing and get back to week."

On potentially seeing more playing time: "Like I said, I'm not the coach. I definitely don't make decisions like that. I don't talk much, I just go out and do my job. Whatever God has for me, it's going to happen. If not, I'll be fine."

Pryor was not surly, but close, and it was obvious from his tone that he wanted to be anywhere else. And really, could you blame him?

In his mind -- and in the mind of his growing legion of supporters -- he probably felt he could have helped the Raiders more had he been on the field for more than three plays.

On his first play, which was the Raiders' second play from scrimmage, he lined up in the Wildcat, took the direct snap and passed the ball out to Palmer on the right. Palmer quickly threw back to Pryor, who scooted 22 yards upfield.

On his second play, early in the second quarter, Pryor took the direct snap from the Panthers' 9-yard line on second-and-8, and while it appeared to be a read-option, Pryor kept the ball all the way and ran up the middle for a two-yard gain.

And on his third play, early in the fourth quarter, and with the Raiders at the Panthers' 8-yard line on first-and-goal, Pryor lofted a pass to Marcel Reece, who was pushed out of bounds at the 3-yard line.

That was it. And if you thought Pryor should have seen more time…

"Matt's our back-up quarterback," said coach Dennis Allen. "Terrelle's done a nice job. He's working extremely hard. We don't feel like he's ready to be the backup quarterback yet, and we feel like Matt would give us the best chance."

And there it is.

We don't feel like he's ready...yet.

"Although, we feel like using Terrelle in some of the packages and some of the things like we did with him today -- the pass down there in the red zone, also the throw-back screen to start the game off (on) the second play of the game -- I mean, those are some of the things that we feel like we can use him in right now," Allen added, "until he develops even more as a quarterback."

Perhaps Pryor seeing Cam Newton run the Panthers' offense gave him a bigger sense of self? And really, on the flip side of that coin, maybe Pryor could have thrown just as ugly an interception as Leinart did late in the second quarter.

And if Pryor is not ready, how does he get ready in a lost season with one game to go unless he gets to play?

Or, he must really be bad to not get into this kind of game that screamed for a spark, any spark, to get the offense going.

Then there's this -- Pryor only has a handful of plays at his disposal, and they are "specialized" wrinkles, not the full playbook, whereas Leinart has not only knowledge of said playbook, but also the trust of the coaching staff.

And oh yeah, there was that whole bit about Pryor being downgraded this week, too.

Carr excited to work with Gruden: 'I want him to be tough on me'

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AP

Carr excited to work with Gruden: 'I want him to be tough on me'

Jon Gruden has been interviewed several times since becoming Raiders head coach. Quarterback Derek Carr hasn’t listened to most of those sessions, and certainly doesn’t seek them out.

One landed in Carr’s inbox recently, and something Gruden said really resonated.

Gruden’s message, paraphrased: If Derek Carr is not successful, then I’ve failed as a coach.

There are two comments in that one. Gruden considers Carr extremely talented, and he’s taking responsibility for unlocking the quarterback's vast potential.

Gruden will be hands on in Carr’s development, with all the coaching intensity and fire and eyebrow raises that have become Gruden’s signature.

“He’s going to demand of me. He’s going to push me,” Carr said on this week’s episode of the Raiders Insider Podcast, which will drop Tuesday morning (Subcribe right here). “He’s going to make me be the best version of myself.”

Carr had a direct answer to skeptics wondering aloud whether he can thrive under Gruden’s particular coaching style.

“I want him to be tough on me,” Carr said. “For anyone who thinks I want him to be a different way has no clue about me or how I play football or how I prepare to play this game. I don’t need to tell stories about how I prepare or manage myself.

“(Jon) and I are going to get along great. I hope that he demands of me. I hope he’s hard on me. I don’t need to know he loves me. He has already told me that about 20 times. I appreciate that and we’ll be friends forever, but I know he’ll be demanding and tell me what I need to do. Let’s go fix problems that I have and let’s do what I need to do to win championships. Hopefully that will give people some insight and hopefully that’s the story that gets out, because that’s the truth.”

Carr met his new head coach briefly before his introductory press conference, but has known Gruden since filming the Gruden QB Camp segment back in 2014. They got along great then, and in each interaction since.

“We have so much more in common that people realize,” Carr said. “I think it would blow some people’s minds. Him and I are very similar in the way we go about our business and how we carry ourselves. It’s an exciting time.”

Carr’s excited to have some stability in his football life. The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback will start his fifth NFL season with his fourth head coach, fourth go-round with an offensive coordinator and third offensive scheme. Gruden signed a 10-year contract. OC Greg Olson signed a four-year pact. They’ll be here a while, and Carr’s excited about that.

“It’s going to be really nice,” Carr said. “To know Jon signed on for a 10 years and (Olson) signed on for a long time shows me a couple of things. No. 1: that they believe in me. I don’t think Coach Gruden would’ve quit his day job, which I’m thankful he did. To get (Olson) out of a good spot in L.A (with the Rams), shows that they believe in me and that’s awesome. And, No. 2: I’m going to have two people I can talk to in a different language for years to come. We can grow within the relationship, and hopefully we’ll all ride off together. It’s set up that way right now, and we have a lot of work to do to reach that point.”

Raiders QB Derek Carr named to third straight Pro Bowl

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USATSI

Raiders QB Derek Carr named to third straight Pro Bowl

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is headed to his third consecutive Pro Bowl. He became eligible once New England qualified for the Super Bowl and Tom Brady was out of the running for next week’s NFL all-star game in Orlando.

Carr was the next alternate up, and accepted the invitation to represent the Silver and Black. Khalil Mack, Rodney Hudson, Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn were named to the original roster, though Penn has bowed out with injury.

Carr will join his teammates in Florida for game-week festivities, followed by the inter-conference clash on Sunday at noon at Camping World Stadium. The game can be seen on ABC.

He joins Rich Gannon and Ken Stabler as Raiders quarterbacks with at least three Pro Bowl selections. Carr had a down year relative to his previous two, but still posted standout numbers. He had 3,496 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and an 86.4 passer rating.

The Raiders finished a disappointing 6-10, and head coach Jack Del Rio was fired in favor of Jon Gruden.

“It was not the year we wanted, but to still be recognized by you, Raider Nation and fans everywhere, and the players and coaches you go against is an extremely high honor I will always be thankful for!” Carr wrote in a note posted on Twitter. “Although I am extremely blessed to be thought of in such a way by my peers, I understand there is more work to do. There is more to achieve and more to accomplish and I will now ret until we get there, Raider Nation!”