August 27, 2011 in Sports

Pryor practices with Raiders for first time

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Amid speculation he could end up as a pass-catcher, Terrelle Pryor spent his first day of Oakland Raiders practice at playing quarterback.
(Full-size photo)

On his second play of his first NFL practice with the Oakland Raiders, Terrelle Pryor fumbled the snap and had to fall on the ball.

He had one more fumbled snap and a few errant passes in his 16 plays during team sessions, looking more like someone who hadn’t played football since January than a future franchise quarterback. That’s all to be expected considering he just jumped right in on his first day with the Raiders, while most everyone else has had more than four weeks of training camp.

“I’m just playing catch-up right now,” Pryor said Friday. “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.”

Pryor was taken in the third round of the supplemental draft on Monday and signed a four-year contract Thursday.

He had to digest the playbook, learn the terminology and be told how coach Hue Jackson wants quarterbacks to call out plays at the line of scrimmage. Pryor spent a lot of time at the side of Jackson or offensive coordinator Al Saunders, taking in as much information as he could.

“I wanted him to hear how a play sounds, I wanted him to get a feel for how we go about doing it, learn our tempo,” Jackson said. “This is the first day for him. Kudos to him. I thought he did a good job, first day, and we weren’t able to give him a lot of information. All this happened very quickly but got him here. Obviously he’s here, he’s ours and we’ll get him ready.”

Pryor threw nine passes in team sessions, completing four of them with a few far off target. He also fumbled a pair of snaps on his seven running plays as he starts the process of learning how to be a pro.

Pryor will not play in Oakland’s third exhibition game on Sunday against New Orleans and then will have three more practices before the preseason finale at Seattle on Sept. 2.

After that, Pryor will be ineligible to practice with the Raiders until serving a five-game suspension, the same number of games he would have sat out for NCAA rules violations had he returned to Ohio State. Pryor has said he will not appeal the suspension.

Because he is 6-foot-5, 232 pounds and was clocked at 4.36 seconds in the 40-yard dash at his pro day, there has been speculation that Pryor could eventually play receiver or tight end in the NFL. But he is starting his career at quarterback.

“The guy is big, athletic,” Jackson said. “I think he can throw it. He looks like a quarterback, feels like a quarterback, sounds like a quarterback, and I’m very excited to work with him.”

Pryor begins his career behind starter Jason Campbell and backups Kyle Boller and Trent Edwards on the depth chart. All three of those quarterbacks are in the final year of their contracts so Pryor will be groomed for the future.

Brady vs. NFL now over

The legal fight between the NFL and its players is officially over.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson in St. Paul, Minn., issued an order that formally dismissed the antitrust lawsuit brought against the league on March 11 by a group of players headlined by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The lockout began the next day and lasted 41/2 months. The new collective bargaining agreement was signed on Aug. 5.

Nelson wrote that the owners and the players “have at all times acted with the utmost integrity and in the best interests of football.”

Vikes return home to dome

More than eight months have passed since that swirling snowstorm punctured the Metrodome’s roof, rendering the stadium unusable and sending the Minnesota Vikings scurrying for other places to play at the end of last season.

They return to their familiar Teflon-covered home field in Minneapolis this weekend. It’s all spruced up, complete with a new ceiling and new turf.

The Vikings host the Dallas Cowboys tonight in a preseason game, the first sporting event since last December to be held at the iconic, often-disparaged 29-year-old venue now known as Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

Around the league

Kyle Williams’ career season certainly paid off after the Buffalo Bills defensive lineman agreed to a six-year contract extension worth about $39 million. Williams will become one of the NFL’s top-paid defensive lineman, as the extension is similar to the five-year, $40 million deal New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork reached in March 2010. Williams will average between $7.5 million and $8.2 million a year depending on if he meets all the contract incentives. … Washington Redskins second-round draft pick Jarvis Jenkins is out for the year with a torn ACL. Jenkins received the news a day after he injured his right knee in the first quarter of a 34-31 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The defensive end from Clemson had a strong training camp and was slated to be major part of the defensive line rotation – and possibly challenge Adam Carriker for a starting job. … The Tennessee Titans agreed to a contract with receiver Kevin Curtis. The eight-year veteran played four seasons with the St. Louis Rams and then spent three seasons with Philadelphia before playing with the Miami Dolphins last season. Curtis has 253 catches for 3,297 yards and 20 touchdowns in 81 career games. The Titans waived rookie receiver Joseph Hills to clear roster space.

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