SEATTLE The last time Pete Carroll saw Terrelle Pryor in person on the field was a Saturday night in Columbus in 2009.
But his impressions of Pryor go back long before USC and Ohio State faced each other that night.
Way back coming out of high school just his overall athleticism. He was a dominant athlete, fast, strong, great confidence, Carroll said. A guy who has had a background of success and it shows when he plays, versatility is there because he can do a lot of things with the ball.
Like everyone else, Carrolls not sure if hell get a look at Pryor on Friday night when the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks close out the 2011 NFL preseason. Its the only chance for Pryor to get on the field before the month of October. Hell be banned from practicing or playing for the Raiders after Friday night as part of a five-game suspension imposed before he entered the NFL supplemental draft.
Its been less than two weeks since Oakland selected the controversial former Ohio State star in the third round of the supplemental draft. He signed a four-year contract with the Raiders a few days later. Pryor gave up his final season with the Buckeyes after an investigation into the teams memorabilia-for-cash scandal that cost coach Jim Tressel his job.
Pryor was handed the same five-game suspension by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that he would have faced had he returned to Ohio State, but was allowed to participate in practice and preseason games.
Again, this is a long process for him. Hes still trying to understand our offense, exactly how we call things, how we go about doing things. It takes a little time. Im not surprised that its not just like that, Oakland coach Hue Jackson said, snapping his fingers. I dont think anybody is. I dont even think he is. I think it takes a little time. Do I think he wants to play and compete? Yeah, any competitor wants to do that but not at the risk of him not having success or him not being sure or anything like that.
Whether Pryor sees the field on Friday is just one of the questions in a game that features a number of ties between the former AFC West rivals.
While Raiders fans are anxious to see Pryor on the field, Seattle fans are just anxious about a struggling offensive line thats left new quarterback Tarvaris Jackson exposed to far more hits than Carroll would like to see during the exhibition season.
Seattles gone as far as rotating in Breno Giacomini at right tackle since rookie first-round pick James Carpenter has not played well. The Seahawks also are without left tackle Russell Okung, who will sit out against the Raiders in hopes that his sprained ankle is ready for the opener on Sept. 11 at San Francisco.
The Seahawks havent done much to help out the young line from a scheme perspective, but in the process exposed where the weaknesses lie.
You could get into a chip-game and use the tight end and do some of those things but its not been a point of emphasis yet. We need to find out really who we are and I think after (last) Saturday, we got a pretty good idea in a negative way, Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable said. We know what the real weaknesses are and how to fix them so thats what well do moving forward.