Terrelle Pryor leans on Oakland Raiders for support after deaths

Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor is thankful he can lose himself in training camp these days, after losing two of the most important people in his life in one week.

Businessman Ted Sarniak III, a mentor to Pryor when the former Ohio State star was growing up in Jeannette, Pa., died July 20 at the age of 68. Then, six days later, Pryor's father, Craig, died at age 44 from a rare neurological disorder.

"It's been a release," Pryor said of football practice, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "I can zone things out and just focus on my footwork and getting better as a quarterback. I thank God that he has given me the opportunity to play this; without that, my mind would be going crazy."

Pryor attended a viewing for his father, but he was not at Monday's funeral because he would have had to miss the start of training camp.

"I knew my father would want me to come here and get my reps in," Pryor said. "The toughest thing is I can't talk to Teddy or my dad, and they're the only people I leaned on. I'm by myself now. I try to work around it and not think about it constantly."

Fighting for a backup job to Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart, Pryor is trying to take advantage of a full training camp after a scattered 2011 season. Pryor was chosen by Oakland in the NFL Supplemental Draft and got to camp -- already abbreviated because of the league lockout -- later than the rest of the Raiders.

"I have always had the ability to make plays with my feet," Pryor said, "and I know people say I can't throw from the pocket. I know I am not Carson Palmer, but I am working hard to get to that. I would like to be Carson Palmer."

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