Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor at Raiders 2012 mini camp (photo by Levi Damien)
Raiders fans are chomping at the bit to finally get a look at Al Davis' last draft pick, Terrelle Pryor. He didn't arrive in camp last season until the last day and with his late arrival, he didn't see a single snap in last year's preseason.
He has only trotted onto an NFL field one time. He was called for a false start so technically he has not been part of an actual play. This absence from the public eye has had his potential taking on almost mythological status. And depending on who you ask, he is either Loki or Hercules. The opinions on a player have rarely been more polarizing than that of Pryor.
Well, now the fans and everyone else can finally have something tangible to say about Pryor. Being that it's the first game of the preseason, we should see a lot of him.
"I don't know exactly how much it will be but I would expect to see him get plenty of snaps."
Pryor's NFL experience has been about as rough as they come. To be suspended for his first five games, in which time he was not able to practice with his new teammates, then get one single play to show his worth and blowing it and not seeing the field the rest of the season. Then losing his mentor and his father within a week's time heading into training camp this season is an experience no one should have to go through.
In the realm of ‘whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger', he should be pretty strong by now. He should also be extremely eager to finally get to see the fruits of his trials on the field of play.
"He's going to be excited to go out and play." Said Allen. "My talk with him will be just go out there and compete and do your best and we'll see what happens."
"I can't wait." Said Pryor. "It's been a long time for me to play Football. It's what I was born to do. God blessed me. He gave me great talent and I just want to try to, I can finally use it again. It's been a long time."
Since Pryor arrived, he has been trying to dispel the idea that he is primarily a running quarterback. So much so that anytime he is asked about even escaping the pocket, he has had a ready response about the misnomer that he is a running quarterback. But all that goes out the window when its game time. He made it clear that if need be, he will use his legs to make a play.
"I think it's when a guy... gets near me... I can just sense it." Said Pryor. "I have eyes on the back of my head. As soon as I feel a guy rushing up on me that's when I do what I have to do. I love to stay out. If I'm on the run I'd rather throw a touchdown than run a touchdown. I love playing quarterback, I love throwing the ball. If I have to run to get the first down it depends on the situation. I don't mind doing that either. I like getting guys excited."
Pryor has had some good days throwing the ball, some up and down days and some downright terrible days. But he has been making progress in some areas. He has also shown a few times that he is willing to tuck it and run when the situation presents itself. And when he does, he is explosive.
He has long strides and can cover a lot of ground very quickly. He is also a load to try and tackle, especially for a defensive back. One of the things he also has shown some strides (pun intended) is in throwing off the run. He almost throws better on the move than he does when he's set.
With all the excitement surrounding Pryor as well as his own excitement, it will be good to finally see him take the field in a game. The preseason opener and the final game of the preseason are when he will see the most plays. Soak it up because after that, it's back to holding a clipboard.