Football / Sports

Pryor makes his return to Oakland

RENTON, Wash. -- Thursday marks something of a homecoming for Seahawks quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

Pryor, though, doesn't have much time for sentimentality as he returns to Oakland, where he played the past three seasons before being traded to Seattle.

Instead, his focus this week is on trying to make his new residence a permanent one.

"It's just another game," said Pryor, the former Ohio State star who started nine games for the Raiders last season. "An opponent is an opponent."

There's also the little matter that Pryor left Oakland of his own volition.

As he reminded reporters Monday, he asked to be traded once the Raiders picked up Matt Schaub, knowing he would no longer be the team's starting quarterback.

The Raiders eventually agreed to deal Pryor to Seattle for a 2014 seventh-round draft choice. It was a deal Pryor embraced, even if he knew he wasn't going to be the starter in Seattle, either.

Seattle, at least, marked a fresh start and a chance to be seen by a different set of eyes.

Pryor, though, might have just one game left to secure a spot on the Seattle roster for 2014.

While officially the competition for the backup quarterback spot behind Russell Wilson is wide open between Pryor and Tarvaris Jackson, conventional wisdom is that the job is Jackson's, whose $1.25 million salary for 2014 is guaranteed.

That means the decision facing the Seahawks might be whether the Seahawks keep three quarterbacks -- Wilson, Jackson and Pryor -- or two quarterbacks and thereforemaking a choice between Jackson and Pryor.

Seattle mostly has had just two quarterbacks the past two seasons, something that gives the team greater flexibility in filling out the rest of its 53-man regular-season roster. But coach Pete Carroll said Monday he's not averse to keeping three this season.

"The two-quarterback thing really helps you because you get another football player on the team," Carroll said. "But sometimes you just can't afford to do it because the guys (at quarterback) are too good."

Pryor has undoubtedly proved intriguing during the preseason, especially with his running skills. The most notable running effort was a 44-yard dash for a touchdown in the second game against the Chargers.

But his passing, which also was the main issue in Oakland, has been inconsistent at best. Pryor is 10 for 22 for 147 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns in three games. That equates to a passer rating of 29.9 that ranks 111th out of the 114 quarterbacks who have played in the preseason.

That stat line includes an 0-for-2 stint Friday against the Bears in which he threw an interception on an ill-advised throw under pressure.

Pryor, who played eight snaps on the final two series, said Monday he hadn't known he was going to see action, though he said he wouldn't use that as an excuse.

"I thought I was sitting out the whole game," he said. "But you've always got to be ready. €¦ You've got to own up to those things, and I will play better this week, it's definite."

He also took the blame for the play itself, in particular for not adjusting the blocking scheme at the line of scrimmage.

"I've got to change that protection," he said. "If I change that, that pick would never happen."

It's those sorts of nuances, he said, that remain his biggest area for improvement.

"Just different things like that, little details like that," he said. "And just continue to learn the offense."

Carroll has consistently praised Pryor's work ethic since arriving in Seattle and did so again Monday, saying "He's been a really good student of the game. He just dove into it. €¦ We can call the whole offense (with Pryor). Can do everything that we want to do."

He'll get a good chance to show that Thursday as Carroll said Pryor will see significant action against the Raiders. Wilson is expected to play only briefly.

That the game might be one final audition, Pryor said, is for others to worry about.

"I don't look at it like that," he said. "I just look at it like it is what it is, every single day, and trying to cherish the moment."

(c)2014 The Seattle Times

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