As we countdown the days until the Oakland Raiders make the annual pilgrimage to Napa there is plenty to ponder while awaiting our football fix. Naturally in every NFL camp there are no shortages of jobs that will be on the line during those hot summer days. For some players it’s a last chance to make a first impression in hopes of making the 53-man or at least getting a spot on the practice squad. For Terrelle Pryor it might as well be the Super Bowl.
Pryor wasn’t drafted by Reggie McKenzie who doesn’t seem the type to have used a third round pick on a project like Pryor. So there has got to be plenty of pressure on Pryor to prove his worth.
This will also mark the former Buckeye’s first taste of training camp as he practiced only once with the Raiders before serving a suspension commuted from the NCAA to the NFL under the rule of Lord Goodell last season.
All in all it’s pretty much a do-or-die scenario for Pryor if he’s looking to do more than wear a Raiders ball cap on Sundays. Matt Leinart was brought in to ensure there is not another Kyle Boller debacle on Oakland’s hands in 2012. That’s good news for the Raiders who failed to prepare for the worst last season. But it’s bad news for Pryor who already endured one season of inactivity in the NFL.
That’s why he’s got to take advantage of every rep he gets in camp and must show something special in the preseason games as well. This could be Pryor’s only chance to show the new coaching staff what he can do against live action. As Pryor learned the hard way as a rookie, once the season is under way the coaches become more consumed with getting an entire team prepared to play than they are with bringing along project players.
That also means camp will be Pryor’s best and last chance to get any worthwhile individual coaching. Come the start of regular season practices the third string QB, whoever that may be, won’t be taking many snaps. We know Pryor has no chance of taking Carson Palmer’s gig but he could sneak in a few extra reps here and there with the second squad if he impresses enough or if Leinart falters in anyway.
There might not be any decadent stages wheeled out for has-been musicians to perform on during training camp but for Pryor there will certainly be Super Bowl-style pressure. He’s yet to prove anything in the NFL and his one true chance to show something to the new regime will begin in a matter of weeks.