Coming off his best training camp practice Tuesday since joining the Seattle Seahawks, Terrelle Pryor spent most of the team drills Wednesday with a bottle of Gatorade in one hand and his helmet in the other, observing Russell Wilson and Tarvaris Jackson get their reps.
Then Pryor got his turn. In two plays, he threw a red-zone touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin, then ran a designed quarterback sneak up the middle for a TD.
“I’m finding my niche in this offense,” Pryor said. “I know this offense very, very well.”
That came with studying. A lot.
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The Seahawks sent a seventh-round pick to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for Pryor in April. He said it took him about
2 1/2 weeks to learn the offense — the routes, timing, progressions — and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“I studied my butt off,” Pryor said. “But the hardest thing is the protections because you see different defenses and different disguises. It’s just about repetition and getting that down. But it’s tough, and that’s when you might have to make a play with your legs and don’t get sacked.”
He certainly can. Case in point: his 93-yard touchdown run in October against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He passed for almost 1,800 yards in 11 games for the Raiders last season, but specialized in mobility, with two games of more than 100 yards rushing and he finished with 576 rushing yards.
That ranked second among quarterbacks last season behind Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (585 yards).
But Pryor also had opportunities to start. Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Wednesday, as if he needed to, that Wilson is the team’s No. 1 quarterback. And backup Jackson re-signed a guaranteed contract in March.
This is a new situation for Pryor, but not completely. He said he hasn’t been a No. 1 quarterback since entering the NFL out of Ohio State via the supplemental draft in 2011.
“I find a way all the time. I’ll find a way to help the team,” Pryor said.
“I just want to be the best teammate I can be and help the guys as much as I can. I can’t worry about who is No. 1, who is getting more reps than me, who’s better than me. Those are out of my control.”
Bevell said Wednesday that the Seahawks haven’t approached Pryor about branching out to different positions, such as wide receiver.
“Right now, he’s playing quarterback and he’s doing a nice job of it,” Bevell said.
Said Pryor: “Like I’ve said before, I can’t catch. I play quarterback. What I do, I try to be the best at. If I can’t catch the ball, I can’t be a wide receiver.”
He’s proved the past two days that he can throw it, though. He flashed his arm strength Tuesday with two long TD passes to rookie wide receiver Paul Richardson.
“Putting the time in to learn has probably been the best thing he’s done,” Bevell said, “and every time he comes out here, he improves a little bit.”
UNDRAFTED COYLE STEPS INTO LINEBACKER VOID
Rookie linebacker Brock Coyle, undrafted out of Montana, has impressed. With injuries to Bobby Wagner, Malcolm Smith, Bruce Irvin and Korey Toomer, the Seahawks’ next-man-up approach has applied to Coyle.
“He is a terrific finisher,” defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said. “He has the versatility to play Mike (middle linebacker) and Will (weakside linebacker) and he came in really ready to compete right from the get-go. He hasn’t backed down from any of the challenges we have put in front of him.”
MAXWELL’S CONSISTENCY BEGINS TO BEAR FRUIT
With Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond no longer with the team, the cornerback spot opposite Richard Sherman has been Byron Maxwell’s to lose.
The fourth-year pro out of Clemson started the final five games of the season last year as well as all three playoff games on the way to Seattle’s Super Bowl victory.
“I think if you had asked any of us, ‘Will Byron Maxwell play well when he gets his opportunity?’ I think we would all agree we would have said, ‘Yes,’ ” Quinn said. “I think it’s because of that consistency we saw from him, out here going after guys day after day and his playing technique.
“Byron, specifically, had a really consistent training camp last year heading into the season.”