ALAMEDA, Calif. -- While it is not known yet if Terrelle Pryor will set foot on the field Sunday, the concussed Raiders quarterback’s skill set will have already left an impression.
A training camp and early season's worth of practices against Pryor should have Oakland’s defense in some semblance of readiness for Washington’s Robert Griffin III.
“Yeah, it helps,” Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver said. “Our defenses go in from day one with the responsibilities of what people are calling this 'read-option,' which is option mechanics. It’s option football. So from day one this defense is, How do we take care of this? What are your rules? Well, apply your rules.
“So whatever call we’re in, our players need to apply their rules that they’ve done since day one. And it’s always good to see it in camp from a quarterback like T.P., and he did a great job running it and the formations that we used in camp were very hard ones. So that was good for us. It helped.”
Of course, there’s no substitute for the real thing, even if enough shine has come off RG III in these first three games that he’s known derisively in some corners now as RG 0-3.
In his last game, though, Griffin looked closer to the electric rookie he was a year ago. Meanwhile, the Raiders were shredded by Denver’s Peyton Manning.
“It’s a tough defense, they fly to the ball,” Griffin said of Oakland on a conference call with Bay Area reporters this week. “People say that they’re not that good because of what happened with them Monday night against the Broncos, but watching the tape you can see how aggressive they are and how they fly to the football. I am definitely impressed, and I know it’s going to be a challenge for us.”
As will containing Griffin, bad knee or not, be for the Raiders.
“I think once he gets out, he can run,” Tarver said. “He scrambled last week. People are making a big deal out of his sliding, which that one slide he did fumble the ball and he wants [Washington Nationals outfielder] Bryce Harper to help him or whatever, but he can still run straight ahead. Once he gets going, he’s going pretty fast. We need to be correct in our lanes.”
According to Pro Football Focus, the Raiders missed 19 tackles Monday night. Griffin would seemingly make Oakland pay a significantly steeper price if the Raiders are unable to wrap him up.
“Again, it’s the same thing -- it starts with ourselves,” Tarver said. “This starts with ourselves. We played two pretty good games where we took care of what we could control. And we played one where we can obviously tackle better and take care of our own stuff better.
“And that’s what we’re going to do.”