Tip-Off for 8/27/12 (Featuring Redd Foxx): The Emergence of Terrelle Pryor

(Jose Carlos/Oakland Tribune)

Terrelle Pryor was the last move Al Davis made…
No one expected to hear from him again.

He was labeled as the scapegoat that brought The Ohio State football program to its knees. Terrelle Pryor’s senior season at OSU was supposed to be built around Heisman Trophy and National Championship hype. Not in a scandal that nearly ruined his NFL career before it started.

(D. Ross Cameron/Oakland Tribune)

Oakland’s  vertical offense suits Pryor’s skill set just fine…
In his second season with the Oakland Raiders, Terrelle Pryor has survived the scandal, the landmark decision made by Roger Goodell and the talk that he wouldn’t last in the NFL. 

This time last year Terrelle Pryor was trying to sell himself to NFL teams that were willing to take a chance on him after he was dismissed from Ohio State University prior to his senior season. Wherever Pryor was selected his chances of getting on the field and working out with new teammates would be cut short due to the NFL lockout. Not to mention the five-game suspension implemented by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

As his first full season gets underway Pryor is the third string quarterback of the Oakland Raiders and climbing up the chart rather quickly (Matt Leinart is the backup, so I like Pryor’s chances). Carson Palmer is the starter and will most certainly be pushed by the quick and steady progression of Pryor.

Pryor at 6’4″ 235 lbs. has the size, speed and strength to be a difference maker for the Raiders when his number is called. But for now he’s using his time to learn the nuances of the position and carry out his talents when called upon.

“The suspension really screwed me,” Pryor told the Oakland Tribune. “The way I came out of college and my mistakes screwed me. But right now, I’m in a good place because I’m learning from the best and I’m only going to get better, a lot better. If I can just keep on figuring out this progression thing and having my internal clock running with my feet, I can be good. I can be great.”

I’ll admit that Palmer and Leinart may not be the best examples for a player like Pryor, but they are professionals for one reason or another. And if that helps him earn a starting job in the NFL so be it. One area that Pryor has focused on is seeking out his receivers and relying on his arm and less on his running skills.

“When you’re fast and you know you can move and run, you want to believe in your athleticism, and you don’t have to,” Pryor said. “You have guys up front that are taking care of it, you have running backs who are helping your backside. So my mindset has to be just believe and stay in there and just keep going with the footwork and progression. I’m going to get there.”

Saturday against the Detroit Lions Pryor was 3 for 5 for 137 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed 5 times for 90 yards and a score. Most of his yards came on an outstanding 59 yard scamper. Despite Pryor’s performance the Raiders insist that the starting job still belongs to Palmer.

The Lineup:

Carmelo Anthony responds to Charles Oakley (In Flex We Trust).

Talib Kweli (ChekaDigital).

Still not registered to vote (Gotta Vote).

Charles Oakley compares Dwight Howard to a crying child (IamaGM).

Ryan Matthews says he’s ahead of schedule (Wild Thing Football).

Gabby Douglas felt bullied by other gymnasts (Wall Street Journal).

T.O. cut by Seahawks (Washington Post).

Aaron Hernandez, Patriots agree to long-term deal. (NFL.com).

Players may boycott Australian Open (Sports Business Daily).

NBA Cares (Twitter Pic).


Reminds me of my dad…

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