The San Diego Chargers have faced their fair share of athletic quarterbacks over the first quarter of the season, highlighted by Michael Vick, Jake Locker and Tony Romo.
They kick off the next quarter of the season against a quarterback as versatile and athletic as any in the NFL.
After missing Week 4 due to a concussion, Terrelle Pryor is expected to be under center for the Raiders when they host the Chargers Sunday night. Through three games, Pryor has completed 53 of 81 passes for 624 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for a QB rating of 86.7. On the ground, he’s rushed 26 times for 198 yards as well.
As a result, the Bolts know they will have their hands full when it comes to Pryor.
“He’s a game breaker,”
Defensive Coordinator John Pagano spent a large portion of his time with the media Thursday discussing the Raiders quarterback and what he brings to the table. Just like they’ve done earlier in the season when facing quarterbacks with a similar skill set, the Chargers are using
“We tell him in certain situations that he’s going to have to scramble around,” Pagano said. “That’s where Pryor’s game is at a very high level. When he’s moving out of the pocket, his completion percentage even gets higher and it shows with his athletic ability. And we’ve got to do a great job of that. It’s been something that we’ve been emphasizing, not only this week, but the past couple weeks of being able to handle the running quarterback. And that’s going to be a big challenge for us. Whether he stays in the pocket or he moves out of it, we’ve got
So what exactly is the best method when facing a quarterback like Pryor?
“Change it up (with) different looks here and there,” Pagano said. “We’ve got a nice plan to be able to handle a running quarterback of his nature. We’re going to still go play our game. It’s not getting the guys to over think certain things. It’s understanding proper rush lanes, whether we’re bringing four or we’re rushing five or we’re rushing six in situations where it doesn’t matter, we’ve got to have the proper lanes to be able to get this guy down. It’s been a focus. It’s something that we’ve got to do a better job of.”
One of the things that makes Pryor so dangerous is that he can not only run for a big gain, but he is able to buy time to allow receivers to get open. In fact, the Chargers have timed Pryor and on occasion, he’s been able to hang onto the ball and look down field for over 10 seconds, which is an eternity.
“There have been times where we’ve timed it to where our secondary knows it’s got to be 10 or 11 seconds possibly just from the film that we’ve seen where you’ve got to go over,” Pagano said. “10 or 11 seconds; that’s digging down deep inside that heart and we’ve got to do a great job of really putting pressure on him to get him down.”