Terelle Pryor faces what is undoubtedly the most momentous event of his young life professionally speaking. While I'm no longer a young man I still remember clearly the moment I got my first big shot in my chosen career. The jitters of the moment, the thoughts of whether I had properly prepared for the challenge and the calmness that came with the certainty I had.
Terelle has such a moment tonight. And he has been denied several such moments in the past. He was denied a Senior season and being the hero of campus, denied a seat at the NFL draft as a top prospect. Instead he labored in obscurity, a supplemental pick of an owner/general manager whose recent draft choices weren't that stellar. The accolades generally reserved for young NFL prospects denied him.
Whether you thought Flynn was the answer this year, or Pryor, you have to be happy to see this young man get an opportunity to shine. He has done nothing but work hard for this team since he arrived. He hasn't complained, he hasn't caused distractions, He has been a model football player.
And tonight he gets a shot to claim a football team. I know there are some that doubt this, but it is clearly the case. He has been given the number 2, his number, his identity and in some ways a representation of the faith of Mark Davis, Reggie McKenzie, and Dennis Allen that he can place his own positive mark on this temporarily dishonored number. You have veteran's like Woodson talking about the spark you believe will be provided when he comes in.
If you have been watching the preseason, you have seen the team responding to him. Coaches on the sidelines, players etc... It's very clear this team likes and respects him. If Woodson's words are to be trusted, believes in him, and what raider fan, would disagree with Woodson.
I personally don't believe in coincidences and when I see team leaders commenting, NFL.com cheerleading even if somewhat subdued, I believe that his moment has come and the team is blessing it. Even in some ways downplaying the success he need achieve in arguing on NFL .com, the NFL controlled media site how succesfull he need not be to win the Job over Flynn. The Spin seems in and it isn't for Flynn.
Instead, the NFL mythmaker stage has been set and again Flynn seems to be looking at it from the wings. Lord knows the NFL likes making these moments, forgotten in failure or revered in the future success. They plan them with careful precision with NFL films capturing the footage. And the Pryor moment has been set with his prior history making it the kind of moment dreams are made of and hero's born from. The moments that have caused so many young boys to dream of future glory and old fans to remember what might have been if only....
It is a momentus moment. One long dreamed of and one that will be achieved in as inhospitable environment as the NFL preseason can provide. How he takes this moment will become part of his legacy, even potentially his legend should he become a great raider quarterback. It's the kind of moment great men dream to be placed in. A moment that matters and can change your life for good or ill.
He has prepared well. For beside him he will have receivers he knows very well in Rod Streater and Jacoby Ford. It seemed I just kept seeing photo's of these three off twitter this last off-season. That they were three amigo's all working hard at getting better. I suspect, he has his horses, knows them well, and tonight will do his best to ride with them to victory.
As a raider fan I can not help but hope he is wildly successful. I know, however, the team he is to lead has not been the sharpest tool in the shed. Yet somehow this young man brings that air of confidence and certainty that can make one believe, he might just do so.
Hopefully this momentus moment will be one of success, For Terrelle Pryor in the here and now. He has worked hard and long to get such a moment, one he can make his own. Our team has suffered long without players capable of seizing such moments and making them their own. May Terrelle be such a player, we need one.