Pryor channeling his inner Newton

Pryor channeling his inner Newton
December 20, 2012, 3:45 pm
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The Raiders are hoping practicing against Terrelle Pryor will prepare them for the athleticism of Cam Newton on Sunday. (AP)

Really, with his blend of size, speed and athleticism, you could say no one in the NFL compares to the pure, raw unadulterated talent that is Carolina's self-described "entertainer and icon" -- the Panthers' quarterback, Cam Newton.

Unless you do a double-take in the Raiders' locker room.

"We've got the closest guy here," running back Mike Goodson, a former teammate of Newton, said with a gap-toothed Cheshire Cat grin this week. "Terrelle Pryor. We've got the closest guy to him, I think."

So yes, starring as Newton for the Raiders' scout team this week…the most enigmatic player on the Raiders' roster. Pryor was asked Thursday if his game resembled that of Newton.

"Athleticism definitely," Pryor said. "I’ve seen a lot of Cam and I’m sure he’s watched or seen me somewhere. Even back when we were coming into the NFL, we exchanged text messages and stuff like that. He’s a great guy, athletic, just like myself. The offense is broken down pretty good from him to have real success. He has a gun (for an arm) and he’s playing well too."

Pryor, though, is ensconced as the Raiders' third-string quarterback, behind starter Carson Palmer and backup Matt Leinart. Pryor made his 2012 season debut last week against Kansas City, handing off twice and throwing an incompletion.

His supporters say his skill set closely resembles not only that of Newton, but the 49ers' Colin Kaepernick, let alone the New York Jets' polarizing Tim Tebow. And with the success of those first two guys this season, why not cut Pryor loose, right?

Just don't expect Pryor to bite.

"At the end of the day, when it’s time for me and I really get a lot of reps and get comfortable, I’ll have success," Pryor said. "I really, truly believe that. Right now, I’m just waiting. Right now, I don’t want to compare myself to Kaepernick or Cam or any of those guys because them guys and (Robert) Griffin (III) have proved it. I haven’t proved anything. I can’t really say I’d be like them.

"I don’t know what I’m going to be like because I haven’t even played yet. I can tell from practice and certain  plays that they run and certain plays that I run, I could tell I can do that in practice. (But) it’s not when people are watching, so I can’t really compare myself to them."

Instead, he's the Raiders' Rich Little, er, Frank Caliendo this week. It's almost, Pryor admitted, as if he is channeling Newton's train of thought.

"Yeah, just from some of that zone-read stuff, I’m just trying to teach them a little bit," Pryor said. "If they keep to their keys...they’ll be good. But if he gets to the edge and he gets to the secondary, that’s one of the problems. I’m trying to help them to the most of my ability. He’s going to make plays because he’s a great quarterback and athlete.

"We have to minimize it as much as possible and I’m trying to help as much as I can."