How Will Defenses Respond to Terrelle Pryor’s Breakout Performance?

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor made just his second career start in Week 1—and his first with an offense designed around his strengths. Now, NFL defensive coordinators have a little more game tape on Pryor.

As they get more information, they are going to devise ways to slow him down.

The Oakland Raiders know that defenses are going to adjust, but predicting how they will adjust could open up more opportunities for running back Darren McFadden or the passing game. If the Raiders and Pryor don't adjust to the ways defenses try to limit him, the great Week 1 performance will just be an aberration.

Since Pryor is not a complete product, there are ways a defense can slow him down. The Raiders know as well as anyone that Pryor has some limitations, and they did their best to disguise them.

Unfortunately for the Raiders, Pryor's mistakes still cost them the win.



There has been a lot of discussion about the read-option this offseason. Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano is one of the coaches who believed the read-option would be slowed with study, yet his team allowed 112 yards on the ground to Pryor on Sunday.

It's not as easy to defend as people think. 

Pryor used the read-option to pick up a good chunk of his rushing yards. The Colts were so focused on McFadden that Pryor was able to run around the defensive end frequently. He has the speed and elusiveness to make big plays in open space.

One thing Pryor didn't do was hand off to McFadden on read-option plays, even when it would have been the best decision. Defenses should force Pryor to hand it off to McFadden and take their chances. After averaging 3.3 yards per carry last year and just 2.8 yards per carry in Week 1, McFadden has a lot to prove.

For the most part, the Colts had their defensive ends crash down the line of scrimmage to ...

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