Fans of college football had plenty of opportunities to see Terrelle Pryor do his thing at Ohio State. The highly recruited QB prospect was a fixture the moment he stepped foot on campus at Columbus.
Fans of the NFL, specifically Raider Nation, have seen next to nothing of Pryor the pro. To date he has but one snap in an NFL uniform, a forgettable QB sneak that never was no thanks to a false start penalty. Pryor’s debut as pro was about as anticlimactic as the ending of the Sopranos.
That’s why tonight’s Raiders-Cowboys preseason opener is filled with plenty of anticipation for a player entering his second season having never truly had a rookie year. Safe to say there has never been more interest in a third string QB playing for a team that finished .500 the last two years.
Pryor’s preseason debut marks the most extensive playing time he’s seen in the NFL. Aside from a few practices we’ve got nothing at all to critique Pryor on. By all accounts he’s been working hard at learning the pro game while refining some of his mechanical issues and decision making. Of course doing it on the practice field is one thing. Do it in an actual is quite another. Plenty of players shine in practice. Only a select few do it on a consistent basis on Sundays.
Even though the Raiders are playing their first contest of the preseason it seems pretty much like the job to backup Carson Palmer is a done deal with Matt Leinart taking the honors. Of course Leinart has a few advantages over Pryor such as actual game experience and intimate knowledge of Greg Knapp’s offense. But that doesn’t mean the preseason is meaningless for Pryor.
Let’s not forget how Palmer became a Raider in the first place or how T.J. Yates started a playoff game for the Houston Texans as a rookie. Injuries abound in the NFL and a guy like Pryor is a couple of unlucky breaks away from breaking into a starting job.
When Pryor enters the game tonight there will be a buzz unlike any other. How that buzz either grows or shrinks depends on how Pryor performs during his second chance at a first impression.