Terrelle Pryor is fast. We all know this and all the players know this, but there's a difference between knowing that a player is fast and being on the field with that speed, especially when it is as deceptive as Pryor's is. Since Pryor is 6'6" with long legs, he does not appear to be running very fast or with much effort.
While it's been put on display most often in Pryor's scrambling plays, the most predictable plays will be in the Pistol Read-Option plays.
Greg Olson's implementation of the Read Option is slightly different from some of the others. In particular, Olson includes a lead blocker in the backfield (sometimes two of them) which disrupts the defensive approach to the "standard" read play.
Once Pryor keeps the ball and gets to the edge, Olson's plays has Pryor running free, but it also has a TE leading him.
But the adjustment to speed is not just a problem for the opponents, but it is a problem for the Raiders! That's right, Olson and the Raiders offense have to get used to play with a runner with this kind of speed so that they can set up their blocks and more importantly, to determine when pursuing defenders are out of the play and when downfield defenders need to be blocked.
This happened twice in the Colts game. Twice, Pryor got out in space with a TE leading. Twice, the TE peeled back and blocked a 2nd level pursuing Colt (linebacker). Twice, the pursuing linebackers were already out of the play and twice, the ideal blocking target would have been the downfield safety. Twice, Pryor had nice gains, but each time, there was a huge play to be had.
Here's one of the plays :
(1) The set with 2 HBacks (Olawale, Mastrud) :
(2) The Colts linebackers bit hard on the DMC fake. Out on the edge, Rivera is out in front of Pryor and is ready to block someone. Notice the two defenders MLB #52 Sheppard and S #30 Landry :
(3) Rivera seals Sheppard, but Pryor's speed has already beaten him. Landry closes in on Pryor :
Going into Week 2 against the Jags, watch for these option plays and see what adjsutments there are.
Obviously Jacksonville is watching tape and they will adjust to the Raiders' approach, but on the Raiders' side, the blocking structure may also change. If things go well, we may see a huge Pryor run.
For more details, check out the Pistol Run Breakdowns on NinjaGoro.com :