Dear Terrelle Pryor,
First and foremost, let me say that we are honored to have you as a part of Raider Nation. You are the last person Al Davis was able to draft, so your career in the NFL will be one me and other proud members of the Nation will pay attention to until you decide to retire.
Receiving a scholarship is like signing your life away. You have curfew, can’t give nor receive certain items and they expect you to be satisfied with the check given through your scholarship, which isn’t enough to purchase a car, keep up with your bills, etc. For players like you, a top-5 ranked football player and top-20 ranked basketball player in high school, you played sports to get your family and yourself out of the ‘hood. So by all means, I am all for doing whatever it takes to keep a smile on your mother’s face.
It was disingenuous how Commissioner Roger Goodell came down on you after you chose to forego your senior year at Ohio State and enter the NFL’s supplemental draft. Suspending you for the first six games of the season, not allowing you to practice nor own a playbook was too strict. It added insult to injury when your former coach Jim Tressel was hired by the Indianapolis Colts to work in the front office, but did not face any suspensions, fines or setbacks from starting his new profession at the next level. It goes to show you the limitations and constraints on athletes as opposed to the personnel guys.
Twenty months later, after you were announced MVP of the 2010 Rose Bowl, you saw your first action in a live football game on August 13th, 2012 against the Dallas Cowboys. You had a rough, shaky outing, but that is what realists like myself expected from a guy who plays the most important position in arguably all of sports and hasn’t been in the game for almost two years.
Where I think the new CBA impacts players like you the most is with that loss of double days. You are currently the third string quarterback on the depth chart and players like you don’t get as many reps as the starter and second string of guys. You have limited opportunities in practice to prove yourself. With there not being anymore double days, your opportunities were made even more insurmountable, but don’t get me wrong, I think you are the future of the Silver and Black.
This upcoming week, you guys face the Detroit Lions. They ruined your chances of going to the playoffs last year and with the injury to Leinart, you might have the chance to play the entire second half in the third and most important preseason game. Reserves or not, everyone takes this game serious like there are playoff chances on the line and I expect to see a different Terrelle Pryor than the one we have seen the last couple of weeks.
I know your father passed away during the beginning of camp and you missed his homegoing celebration because you know how important it is that you get all the work in that you can and I respect that. You said you presume the Raiders organization to support you through such a horrendous time in your life. Whether they do or do not, know that fans like myself and the rest of Raider Nation are pulling for you, pal. We saw your mobility inside and outside the pocket and how you can expand plays like Ben Roethlisberger. You completed a clutch pass on 3rd and fifteen as well, all against the Dallas Cowboys. The home crowd will be behind you throughout your stint with the Raiders, including this Saturday. Keep up the hard work and don’t hang your head. You have huge upside, and I look forward to your starting days with the club and that youthful Wide Receiver core. Do it for Al.