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Monday in Hawkville: Terrelle Pryor expected to see more action against Oakland Raiders

Posted Aug 25, 2014

It’s just another preseason game, and the finale at that. But when the Seahawks play the Raiders in Oakland on Thursday night, Terrelle Pryor will be playing against the team that traded the QB to the Seahawks in April.

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Aug. 25, when the Seahawks held their “Competition Wednesday” practice in preparation for Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Raiders in Oakland:

WORDS OF THE DAY: SILVER AND BACK

It’s funny how things work out. Neither the Seahawks nor Terrelle Pryor knew they would be closing the preseason against the Raiders when the trade to acquire the quarterback was made in April.

Now, as it turns out, it’s likely Pryor’s turn to follow starter Russell Wilson in the rotation in a game that will be played in Oakland – against the Silver and Black team that selected Pryor in the third round of 2011 Supplemental Draft. He started nine games last season, but then asked to be traded.

“An opponent is an opponent,” Pryor said after practice. “Different coverages. Different blitzes. Different pressures. But it’s all the same. I’ve just got respect for every opponent.”

YOU DON'T SAY

“Of the 27 teams I witnessed in person this summer, Seattle’s the best I saw.”

Peter King in his “Monday Morning Quarterback” at SI.com

Except that this isn’t just another opponent. It’s the team he played for last season.

“I have an opportunity to go play against some teammates and some friends and some good players,” Pryor said. “That’s all I look forward to.”

Pryor has had an up-and-down preseason with the Seahawks. In the opener against the Broncos in Denver, he had a potential game-winning pass intercepted near the goal line in the fourth quarter of a 21-16 loss. The next week, he broke a 44-yard touchdown run in the 41-14 win over the San Diego Chargers at CenturyLink Field. Friday night, in a 34-6 win over the Chicago Bears, he threw another interception while attempting only two passes in the fourth quarter.

“He needs to get out there and play,” coach Pete Carroll said when asked about Pryor’s performance this summer. “Hopefully this week he’ll get a good dose of that.”

Carroll said the starters will play against the Raiders, but those players battling for roles and roster spots are expected to see longer stints.

“Terrelle has been a really good student of the game,” Carroll said. “He just dove into it. He’s taken great pride in commanding the huddle and taking over, right from the start. He was impressive right from the beginning. He’s got a good way about himself in handling it.

“He’s an explosive, dynamic football player.”

Pryor would like to remind the Raiders of that on Thursday night, but he’s not making this game bigger than it is.

“Just play better,” he said when asked about his goals in the finale. “Last week, I didn’t even know I was going to go in, so you’ve always got to be ready. So just make plays, don’t try to do too much and just click. That’s it.

“I’ll play better this week. That’s definite.”

INJURY UPDATES: SURGERY LIKELY FOR HEATH FARWELL

Veteran linebacker and special teams captain Heath Farwell is going to have the groin he injured in Friday night’s game evaluated and probably will need surgery, Carroll said. Farwell was injured while defending an incomplete third-down pass in the end zone during the fourth quarter against the Bears.

“It’s a very, very difficult situation for him,” Carroll said. “He had extensive damage. So everything points to surgery.”

The news was better on tight end Cooper Helfet, who left Friday night’s game with multiple injuries.

“He came back a little better than we had hoped,” Carroll said. “He’s still got a sore knee. He’s got a little strain. We’ll have to wait and see. We’re just going day-to-day with that.”

Nickel back Jeremy Lane, who had an interception against the Bears, sat out to rest a sore groin.

“We don’t know how serious it is,” Carroll said. “We did check it out and it looks like it’s going to be OK. But he’s got to respond and comeback.”

The good news? Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner returned to practice after missing more than a month with a hamstring injury. Also back was wide receiver Bryan Walters, who injured ribs in the game against the Chargers.

Rookie wide receiver Kevin Norwood was expected to return to practice this week, but Carroll said that likely won’t happen as he continues to rehab from having a bone spur removed from a foot.

“He is running, and he is on the field doing stuff,” Carroll said. “Next week would be his chance to get back.”

A REVERSAL OF ROLES

During the one-on-one receivers versus defensive backs drill that takes place simultaneously with the 9-on-7 run drill early in practice, the coaches switched things up. It was the receivers defending the defensive backs in a rollicking reversal of roles.

Among the highlights: 6-foot-5 wide receiver Chris Matthews slapping away a pass that was intended for cornerback Phillip Adams; wide receiver Jermaine Kearse tipping a pass incomplete on a go-route to cornerback Akeem Auguste; wide receiver Phil Bates grabbing the jersey of All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman as he was coming out of this break; and Sherman, a wide receiver in high school and also during his first three seasons at Stanford, dropping a pass in the end zone with Bates providing the distracting coverage.

STATS ’N STUFF: STEVEN HAUSCHKA, RUSSELL WILSON MAKING THEIR POINTS

Steven Hauschka is second in the NFL and leads the NFC during the preseason with 31 points, while Wilson is tied for third among non-kickers with 18 points on his three rushing touchdowns.

Wilson also has risen to fifth in the league with a 121.7 passer rating, and he’s completing 76.9 percent of his passes – which also ranks fifth in the NFL. His rating on third downs – 158.3 – leads the NFC and is tied for the league lead.

STAT DU JOUR: LOWERING THE FLAGS

After beginning the preseason with 13 penalties for 131 yards against the Broncos in Denver (the Seahawks’ only loss), the Seahawks have combined for 14 penalties for 108 yards in their past two games (both wins):

Opponent No. Yards
Broncos 13 131
Chargers 8 48
Bears 6 60

Jon Ryan is fifth in punting average (48.8) and seventh in net average (42.8). Earl Thomas and Walters are among the Top 10 in punt-return average – Thomas at No. 7 (17.0) and Walters at No. 8 (16.5).

Robert Turbin has taken over the team lead with 112 rushing yards, which also ties him for eighth in the league.

As a team, the Seahawks rank No. 1 in average yards allowed, second in rushing offense, are tied for fourth in rushing defense, fifth in pass defense and eighth in average yards on offense.

Rookie middle linebacker Brock Coyle is the leading tackler on that No. 1-ranked defense with 16.

UP NEXT: “TURNOVER THURSDAY”

It’s another one of those weeks, where the actual days of the week don’t match the preparation days on the Carroll calendar because the Seahawks’ will play their preseason finale on Thursday night against the Raiders in Oakland. So Tuesday’s practice will actually be “Turnover Thursday.”

Roster cuts also loom, as the team still needs to make seven roster moves by 1 p.m. Tuesday to reach the league-mandated 75-player limit – after the team parted ways with eight players on Monday morning. The roster must then be reduced to 53 players by Saturday.