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That’s what Oakland’s third-year pro in his first full season as a starting quarterback brings to the table. And that’s what the Giants defense, which has quieted premier running backs but struggled against elusive quarterbacks, will try to contain on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
“I don’t really go into the game thinking about running,” Pryor said Wednesday on a conference call. “I saw that stuff on Randall [Cunningham]. His coach was telling him to run first and pass second. I can’t really go in thinking anything like that. If it happens – [the Giants have] got a very good, deep front seven. If something happens, I have to get out and make a play… But I want to sit back and see if I can find some guys downfield and get some explosive gains in the passing game.”
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For every Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy they have contained this season, there has been a Cam Newton and Alex Smith to gash the Giants with runs to extend drives.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin was asked today about the disconnect between stopping running backs and containing mobile quarterbacks.
“It’s a variety of things you’re going to see,” he said, regarding the Oakland offense. “You have a quarterback that you may think you’re in pretty good shape against on the option keep, for example, and then in a pass pattern he pulls the ball down and runs. So you have a variety of things that you have to continue to work on in terms of containing, having pressure up front, not letting something open up where he sees a gap to the side where he can take advantage of it.”
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“So you have both the scripted in which I have you and you have me; the way it goes in option football,” Coughlin continued. “They also have a lead blocker concept that you have to deal with in the option as well when he’s keeping the ball. A lot of times it’s the other aspect that for which you may have a four-man rush and you may have someone assigned to watching him, but as the play develops, you may not be in very good position and he is a strong, physical guy with outstanding speed and so those are the issues.”
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Meanwhile, it’s Dennis Allen’s job to expand them.
“Number one, I don’t think you can ever take away that athletic ability,” the Oakland head coach said on another conference call. “That’s what makes him special and we want him to continue to be able to use that athletic ability to make big plays for us and he’s done a nice job at doing that. He’s still a young player. This is his first year as a starting quarterback in the NFL, so he’s still got a lot of things to learn, just like all young guys do…So he’s still got some growth that he needs to do from a pocket presence as a quarterback and he’s worked extremely hard on that and he’s been greatly improved as the year has gone on.”