PHOTOS - Eye on the Opponent: Oakland Raiders | Raiders Week: Practice Photos
What have you seen from Terrelle Pryor that makes him a dangerous quarterback?
He’s one of those special players who are gifted athletes. I remember watching him and reading about him when he was in high school here (at Jeannette High School). He was doing things that nobody else could stop or contain. He is a guy you have to key for. You always have to account for him rushing. He can take off. He is their leading rusher and that includes the great Darren McFadden. That shows you what he is capable of.
How tough is it to deal with a quarterback that has the ability to run?It’s tough, but that is the way the league is getting. A lot of quarterbacks are given the ability to scramble when there is nothing there. We have faced guys like that before. Everyone just needs to make sure to take care of your responsibility, your rush lane. If you do that you can contain him.
In the same respect, he has been sacked 20 times. Do you not only need to get pressure on him, but add to that sack total?
We want to get pressure. We know that affects outcomes of games. Getting to him and getting hits on him will be crucial.
Talk about last year’s game against the Raiders. How frustrating was it to see a 10-point lead fade in the second half?
It was very frustrating. It seemed like we couldn’t stop them and we had turnovers on offense. That’s not a winning combination. We have to get stops and offensively we need to hold on to the ball.
You already mentioned Darren McFadden, who had a 64-yard run last year in the game. Is containing him a key?
It always is, always will be our number one goal on defense to be very stout against the run. He is a gifted guy, a very talented guy. It will be big in the game to keep him contained.
What about Denarius Moore. He is a young guy, a third-year receiver, but making an impact for them?
He looks good. He is fast. He has made some big plays for them. It’s those one strike plays. He is someone you need to account for. We will keep an eye on him.
It’s been a tough place to play for this team in the past, losing three of the last four games there. Is there something you can point to or is there really no set answer?
I don’t know but we want to go out there and get a win this time. We haven’t been very successful out there and we want to change that this Sunday.
What’s it like playing in Oakland, in the “Black Hole,” dealing with all of those fans?
It’s like Halloween out there every week. Coach (Mike) Tomlin showed us the history of the series going back to the 70s. There is a deep rivalry there, especially back in the day how competitive those two teams were. It’s a tough place to play with a great history. It’s one of those things you have to relish and go get a win.
Do you tell any of the rookies anything about playing there and give them any tips about dealing with it?
You let them know, you give them a heads up. The stadium is set up to where the fans are almost right there on the field. There are not a lot of stadiums like that. It’s a little bit different. You have to make sure you focus on what you need to do to help us win.
Terrelle Pryor was a Steelers fan growing up and mentioned watching you play. What’s that like to hear a player you want to go out and sack talk about being a fan of yours as a kid?
When you are in this game long enough you get to watch guys like Terrelle who went to high school here and everyone knew about him. I always kept an eye on him. It will be a challenge to contain a great athlete like him.