After their third preseason game, the Raiders finally have some offensive positives to talk about. Naturally, the first inclination would be to focus on Terrelle Pryor, but others were perhaps the bigger stars.
“Some guys stepped up and made big plays,” quarterback Carson Palmer noted. “Alex Parsons getting the start, coming in and doing really well against one of the best pass-rushing/run-stuffing fronts in the game. Juron Criner made plays. You know, Rod Streater continued to make plays.”
Here’s Palmer’s full postgame interview (video courtesy of Ryan Leong):
Streater caught another five passes yesterday, giving him a total of 18 this preseason. Criner, on the other hand, finally had a game to match his impressive camp performances, accumulating 115 yards on only two receptions. So why the turnaround after two games in which he totaled just 31 yards on two catches?
“[I’m] getting more comfortable with it.” Criner said. “I’m just got to realization that it’s the same game, different people.”
Criner also discussed his great leaping grab, as well as the play of quarterback Terrelle Pryor (video courtesy of Ryan Leong):
The emergence of Streater and Criner as legitimate threats would preclude the Raiders from seriously considering the Chad Johnsons and Plaxico Burresses of the world.
Taiwan Jones made a strong case to be Darren McFadden’s top back-up, rushing for 50 yards on ten carries.
“He did some nice things,” said head coach Dennis Allen. “He was explosive. He’s obviously really fast. He has a real nice run where he got a little penetration and cut back and was able to get around the defense. That’s one of the things that he gives you is he does have some real speed, and so, his ability to get on the edges is good for us.”
Speed notwithstanding, Jones most impressive attribute is perhaps his ball security–unlike fellow back-up Mike Goodson. “First things first is ball security,” Jones said.
Pryor had his best game thus far in his young career, accumulating over 220 all-purpose yards. While Pryor made a few plays with his arm, the bulk of his yards were the result of his legs.
“He made progress today,” Allen said. “He’s not where we need him to be; he’s not where he wants to be. But he’s made progress.”
Here are Allen’s full post-game comments (video courtesy of Ryan Leong):
The 39-yard floater to Criner was hardly progress, though. Even by Pryor’s admission, the throw was poor. “That was a bad ball,” Pryor said. “Criner just made a great play.”
The next pass to Criner, in which Pryor rolled to his right, was a professional throw. But, I wonder: Is one decent pass sufficient to prove progress?
In the words of Monte Poole: “Pryor is a developmental project, and the development is still very much in its early stages. The Ohio State product is, at best, years away from a finished product.”
Here’s Pryor’s full postgame comments (video courtesy of Ryan Leong):
Now comes the arduous task of trimming the roster down to the final 53. Rosters must be cut down from 90 to 75 by Aug. 27. While Pryor spot on the 75-man roster is safe, I have to wonder how safe he is. Has he done enough to warrant a spot on the 53-man roster?