Terrelle Pryor living for the now

October, 3, 2013
10/03/13
8:00
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ALAMEDA, Calif. -- From Bobby Layne to Fran Tarkenton to Jim Zorn to Randall Cunningham to Michael Vick, the fear for running quarterbacks was that they unnecessarily put themselves in harm’s way.

Try telling that to this new breed of zone-read-option quarterbacks, such as Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and, yes, even Terrelle Pryor.

[+] EnlargeTerrelle Pryor
Kent Nishimura/Colorado Springs Gazette"If you start trying to limit the things that [Terrelle Pryor] does, I think you decrease his effectiveness," said Dennis Allen.
By the time Pryor takes the field Sunday night under the lights of the O.co Coliseum for the Oakland Raiders, it will have been 13 days since he last took a hard hit. The concussion-causing helmet-to-helmet blow from Denver linebacker Wesley Woodyard came on a quarterback draw and blitz and kept Pryor on the sideline for last weekend’s winnable game against Washington, a game Oakland lost 24-14.

So now, as he prepares to start against the San Diego Chargers, might the Raiders dial back some of Pryor’s designed runs, knowing what happened the last time he ran the ball?

“If you start trying to limit the things that he does, I think you decrease his effectiveness,” said Raiders coach Dennis Allen. “You have to let him be the quarterback that he is and let him make plays.”

Pryor, despite missing a series in Denver and the entire Washington game, is still the Raiders’ second-leading rusher, with 198 yards on 26 carries.

With Darren McFadden missing practice Wednesday with his strained right hamstring, the Chargers might be able to key more on Pryor as a running threat. Still, Pryor said he would not be playing if he did not feel ready.

“I believe I’m 100 percent right now. I feel normal,” said Pryor, who was medically cleared to play against Washington but was held out by the Raiders as a precaution. He is showing no symptoms now and will start against the Chargers.

“Whatever is going to happen is going to happen," he said. "That’s how I live for now. I just try to make the right decisions and the smart decisions and be a smart person and player. Obviously, if there’s three guys coming cramming down on me, I don’t want to challenge all three of those guys, so get down. Just be myself and play football. That’s how I have to play.”

Paul Gutierrez

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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