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Limiting Pryor’s Legs

Posted Sep 20, 2013

Raiders quarterback Terelle Pryor can hurt opponents with both his legs and his arm.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Stopping Raiders quarterback Terelle Pryor involves more than just taking away his options down the field.

Because when that happens, Pryor can be just as dangerous with his legs.

“We just have to play our technique up front, stay in our lane – lane disciple, contain the quarterback,” defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson said. “He’ll definitely take off and run with it if he doesn’t see what he wants. We just have to do our job.”

Only six players have rushed for more yards per contest this season than Pryor, who has averaged 81 yards in his two games this season. He has carried 22 times for 162 yards with that 7.4 yards-per-carry average representing the top mark among all players with at least 20 attempts.

Pryor’s athleticism means that Broncos defenders up front will have to maintain discipline on their pass rush to ensure that the elusive quarterback doesn’t find a running lane.

“When you’re rushing them, you’ve got to be smart,” defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said. “You’ve got to keep your eyes on the quarterback. If the first or second options aren’t there, he’s going to take off. He’s a major threat with it, so as a defensive line, we’ve got to keep him in the pocket. When he bubbles out, we’ve got to keep him from breaking and allow our team to rally to the ball.”

Pryor’s elusiveness also means that the defensive backs will have to cover their men longer as Pryor can extend plays from the pocket.

“That’s when you have to think in our head, ‘Stay in coverage, stay in coverage,’” cornerback Chris Harris said. “That’s what makes him Terrelle Pryor, being able to extend plays and trying to make a play out of no play.”

Pryor isn’t the only mobile quarterback that the Broncos are scheduled to face this season.

In fact, the only quarterback with more rushing yards than Pryor this season is Michael Vick, who the Broncos will face next week.

Ahead on the schedule is Robert Griffin III, another quarterback that can beat teams with his legs.

That’s a challenge that Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio looks forward to.

“Whether it’s designing ways to slow down Pryor and Vick and the guys that do a lot with their feet; or guys that do both, that’s the challenge,” Del Rio said. “That’s part of what makes this game fun. You get your guys ready. Every week is a new week with new challenges and certainly the look that the Raiders present is a different look than what we’ve seen the last couple of weeks, but not unlike some of the looks we think we’ll see during the course of the year with the Redskins and a few other teams that are doing this type of thing.”