ALAMEDA — Terrelle Pryor has had plenty of time to rehash the worst start of his brief NFL career.
After spending the bye week for the Raiders trying to correct all the mistakes he made against Kansas City, Pryor can now turn his focus to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pryor is looking to bounce back from a three-turnover, nine-sack performance that tempered the enthusiasm surrounding a stellar start the previous week against San Diego and help the Raiders (2-4) win the game after the bye for the first time since the 2002 season.
He used his time off to hone his mechanics with his personal coach, rewatch his previous games and spend extra time working with offensive coordinator Greg Olson and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo.
“I've become a better quarterback from that game,” Pryor said. “The two days I had with Olson and Coach Flip we really hammered home on situational football and understanding. I believe I became a better quarterback just by sitting in the room with them the two days we had during the bye week. That's something I'm very proud of that we worked hard on that and I'm getting better at that.”
Pryor followed up his best game as a pro in a win against San Diego when he went 18 for 23 for 221 yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers with his worst the following week at Kansas City.
Pryor struggled with the Chiefs defense, a record-loud crowd in Kansas City and injuries that decimated Oakland's offensive line in a 24-7 loss.
Pryor completed just 18 of 34 passes for 216 yards, while throwing his first three interceptions since the season-opener in Indianapolis and taking nine sacks. Pryor struggled to get the plays called on time, leading to three delay of game penalties and also called a wrong play and a wrong protection that added to Oakland's offensive woes.
“I think it's part of the growth process overall,” Olson said. “He did a number of good things the previous week, and then came in and had to play a very good defense. We were a little bit short-handed with what we had up front and the loudest environment in the history of the National Football League. I think it's all part of the growing process and part of his growth process as we move forward.”
While many players went home after the final bye week practice last Wednesday, Pryor stayed in town to work with his coaches and fine tune his mechanics with his offseason throwing coach Tom House.
Pryor said his balance was off and his head was in the wrong position at times, limiting his ability to drive the ball.
“There were some things we had to clean up but also things I am doing really good,” he said. “Just keep on getting better. It's a process. I'm doing fine but there are some things I need to clean up and I started work when they got here. It was good work.”
Pryor could be helped out a bit this week by improved help on the offensive line. Starting center Stefen Wisniewski practiced Wednesday for the first time since injuring his knee against Washington on Sept. 29.
That injury proved especially costly when backup Andre Gurode left the game against Kansas City with a quadriceps injury, forcing guard Mike Brisiel to play center for the first time in the NFL.
“That's huge,” coach Dennis Allen said. “I think what he means to our offensive line, the type of player he is, his intelligence level, it helps us with a lot of the communication. Not only with protection and schemes but also in the run game. I think having him back out there is a big boost for us.”
Starting right tackle Tony Pashos, who also left the Chiefs game with an injury, was not back and practice and worked on the side with a trainer as he tries to rehab his hip injury. Matt McCants, who started against San Diego and replaced Pashos in the first half of the Chiefs game, once again worked with the first team.
NOTES: The Raiders claimed LB Martez Wilson from New Orleans and waived DT Christo Bilukidi, the team's sixth-round pick in 2012. Wilson appeared in four games this season for New Orleans, posting four tackles and one sack. … LB Kaluka Maiava (hamstring) and Gurode did not practice.