ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Terrelle Pryor's rookie year in the NFL amounted to a false start.
The former Ohio State star quarterback entered the league late through the supplemental draft, served a five-game suspension for infractions from college and then got on the field for only one aborted play for the Oakland Raiders last season.
That's why this offseason has been so crucial for Pryor, who is finally getting the professional coaching and practice time he sorely missed during his rookie year.
"I didn't know anything last year, nothing at all," Pryor said. "I knew some of the stuff going into games and stuff like that but not like starting from Day 1 here right now when the new coaches came in. On the other hand, I came in last year at the end of camp and everything was already put in. I couldn't ask the coach, the offensive coordinator. We didn't even have a quarterbacks coach so I couldn't even learn anything from that standpoint."
Pryor didn't get a whole lot of coaching as a rookie. With Jackson and offensive coordinator Al Saunders wrapped up in weekly game plans and getting Palmer up to speed after joining the team at midseason, Pryor didn't feel comfortable asking too many questions.
The Raiders also didn't have a quarterbacks coach last season so Pryor is soaking up all he can get from his new position coach, John DeFilippo. The two talk constantly, with Pryor often calling DeFilippo at night after leaving the facility.
The primary focus has been on improving Pryor's footwork after he spent most of his college career playing out of the shotgun.
"His footwork has gotten much better in terms of understanding of when to take a five-step drop and when to take a seven-step drop," DeFilippo said. "It's been good for him to have someone be so hands on with him on every play and stay on him in a good way. He can take tough coaching. You can get on him. He doesn't go into the tank. He's been great."
The on-field results have been somewhat inconsistent during open practices so far this offseason. Pryor sometimes will show off his big arm and make throws into tight windows that are necessary to succeed in the NFL.
Other times his timing is off or his throws are off-target, all part of the learning process for a young quarterback. Pryor said the toughest part for him is getting limited time in practice as a backup.
He said he's looking to improve "1 percent" each day and he has plans after this week's minicamp to get together with former Raiders star Rich Gannon to work on some details.
"I'm working hard every day," he said. "Sometimes it's not the best days. I'm still learning a new offense here. Especially me, I'm not taking a lot of reps. When I'm just taking certain reps it's just not crisp right now. After I get a couple of reps I should be fine.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press