Terrelle Pryor is the type of player that wants to watch everybody and everything that has to do with football and to figure out a way to adapt it to his own game. This is the number one most impressive thing about Pryor, the man just simply loves football. He is exactly the definition of being a student of the game, which is basically having an addiction to learning about football.
"Absolutely. My aunt, she said it the best way." said Terrelle Pryor in an interview yesterday, "When I was in college she said, 'Hey, guys that are great and they really care about what kind of player they want to be, I've seen it before." This is how she said it, you have a basket right? You see Tom Brady, you put something you like about Tom Brady in the basket. You see Michael Vick, you see Kaepernick, RGIII , any of those guys, anyone, just keep putting it in the basket and eventually you just keep adding and trying to get better and seeing where they're great at, and try to emulate that somewhat, and add it onto your skill, you're only going to get better."
Talk about a great way to describe how to learn from watching others! Terrelle is very lucky to have an Aunt who is obviously a very smart woman. It is an amazing thing how an anology like this "basket" can really help you visualize a way to learn. The human brain can make this correlation with ease and it is clear that Pryor has taken to her advice very well. So whom has Pryor sampled from?
"Some of my things in the basket? Definitely (can give some examples). The one step drop off, Brady. Just being balanced I believe that gives me 100% more accuracy because I'm just always balanced on the football field. He's a guy I really like to watch and understand his techniques. I like Robert Griffin's ball fakes, I stole some of Kaepernick's ball fakes. It's just what it is. They do great things, why not try to emulate it and be great and put it in your own style?"
Why not, indeed. There really were some moments in week 1 where Pryor did look like Colin Kaepernick on the option plays the Raiders ran. That is a way to tell that Terrelle is being honest about how he gets better as a player and it is also something to watch for as we see more of him playing on the field.
It will be very interesting to see what other things Pryor puts in his basket and emulates on the field. Now that we know this is something he thinks about we should be able to see it more clearly now. Having a quarterback meshing things from all the greats in the NFL like that would be an awesome thing so hopefully Pryor is successful in doing so.
The basket anology is not the only proof of Terrelle Pryor really being a student of the game. Proof can be seen in the way that he is in the film room at 8am on Tuesday which is a scheduled day off and with his entire offseason being spent revamping his mechanics. He might not be perfect but he strives to get better every single day. Just look at how he responded to the opening day loss for another example of that drive within Pryor.
"The most fun thing about going on Sunday, like after the game, after we lost, I was furious. Not furious, but I was upset that we lost, and the first thing that I did was I went on the plane and I started looking at Jacksonville. That's the most fun thing about playing this sport, especially being a quarterback, is you want to see what these are guys are going to do to you to stop you, and that's the most fun thing. It's just a great feeling to see what you're going to do to try to stop our offense. You want to figure it out so you're just studying and watching film, your eyes are all red and tired and you just keep watching film. You want to figure out what's going to happen. So to answer your question (how fun/intimidating the zone read is), you don't know, but you want to go back and figure out how they played this guy. The question of it, that's what is fascinating to me."
It is impossible to read that quote and not be able to tell how much Pryor loves the game of football. Hopefully the game of football will love him right back too. No matter what happens we will know that any mistakes that Pryor makes will not be from a lack of effort on his part. Keep learning young man and use every bit of knowlege to bring the Raiders back to their rightful spot atop the National Football League.