Pryor says he questioned in 2011 whether he still wanted to play

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Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor, whose late arrival to the NFL via the supplemental draft following by a league-imposed five-game suspension, which coincidentally matched the five-game NCAA suspension he avoided by leaving school, became a forgotten man in 2011.  And it nearly made him decide to forget about football.

“It was extremely hard considering the circumstances,” Pryor recently told  “I couldn’t be outside with the team, I couldn’t meet with the team, I couldn’t even get paid by the team during the suspension. It was hard. . . .  When I was finally cleared, I didn’t want to bother the coaches because they were trying to get ready for games.  It was kind of hard asking them for help, because I saw how stressed out they were during the season, which I totally understand.  But it just killed me that I didn’t know the stuff that I was supposed to know.  That was the worst part. I also couldn’t compete.  That’s what really killed me.

“There was a point — and I know it seems crazy — but there was a point I was asking myself if I really loved this game anymore.  That’s where I was at [emotionally].  Throughout the whole season I wasn’t playing, I wasn’t getting no love toward me.  I just felt some type of way.  I started questioning myself, even though I shouldn’t have.  I was like, ‘Do I even love this game?  Do I want to play this game?  Is this what I want to do?'”

Pryor says he decided to stick around as a result of the “clean slate” he believes he has received with the arrival of G.M. Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen.  Still, the new regime has added Matt Leinart, who has previous knowledge of the offensive system that former Texans quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp will install.  Besides, there’s a real question as to whether McKenzie/Allen would have used a third-round (or seventh-round) pick in the supplemental draft (or the regular draft) to get him.  Paul Gutierrez of CSN Bay Area expressed doubt regarding that point on Wednesday’s PFT Live.

Still, Pryor sees an opening, and he’s working hard to make an impression.  “He certainly has been here and putting in some hours to make sure that he’s getting better,” Allen said.  “The thing that I’ve been impressed with is, Terrelle is very, very eager to learn.  That’s what you look for in a young guy like that.  He’s hungry for it, and he’s working.  It’s obvious he’s got great physical talents.  I was out there and they were throwing, and just looking at him he’s really impressive.  But like any young player he’s got to develop a full understanding of the game, because it’s more complex than it is in college.  The thing that I talk to him about is, don’t worry about anything other than you just working to get better every single day, in the meeting rooms, on the field, everything you do.  At the end of the day the results will take care of themselves.”

Though some think Pryor’s hard work eventually will result in the player being moved to a new position (like tight end), he’s still not listening.

“That talk doesn’t bother me, because every day I’m getting taught at the same rate as Carson Palmer at the quarterback position,” Pryor said.  “People say that because I do have blazing speed.  I do have to work a little bit on my accuracy, but who doesn’t have to work on something?  If you didn’t have to work on something, you’d be the best there is or you’d be starting.  But what if I didn’t have to work on that?  I’d be the perfect quarterback.  Well, I don’t know of anyone to be perfect but the Lord.  And until I see someone perfect, I’m going to keep on working.”

The question is whether the work will ever result in someone whom the new G.M. and the new head coach will put on the field as a quarterback.  Given the addition of Leinart, there’s no guarantee Pryor will even be the No. 2 man on the depth chart.

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41 responses to “Pryor says he questioned in 2011 whether he still wanted to play

  1. Didn’t we all have the same question? I hope he continues to work, and can build into a solid backup QB. The 2011 campaign for any QB in Oakland not named Jason Campbell was an absolute disaster. As a fan, I am reserving judgment on how good he could be until I see a few preseason games, or even game action in the regular season. Still hate the 3rd round we gave up, regardless of how good he becomes.

    Rooting for him though.

  2. love it when guys are honest. keep your head up kid. you got a lot of life ahead of you and the skills to be an exciting football player if you really want it.

    also, please don’t accuse me of being a raider fan. I did nothing to insult you.

  3. Pryor Says ““There was a point — and I know it seems crazy — but there was a point I was asking myself if I really loved this game anymore. … I was like, ‘Do I even love this game? Do I want to play this game? Is this what I want to do?’”

    Then he realized that if he quits the game he won’t get paid

    And, with that, he vows to keep working

  4. Here’s to hoping that his work ethic isn’t a one time thing.

    Personally, I’d like to see him succeed with the Raiders as a QB.

  5. Even if the kid had serious doubts about pursuing his NFL career, that’s something he should keep to himself. Announcing anything less than an intense fervor for the game in public is only going to hurt his chances of future contracts. It’s one thing if a ten-year vet ponders retirement, but a rookie with questionable skills to begin with? Doesn’t bode well for anybody thinking about investing time, effort, and money in developing him. Hopefully, it was just stupid youth and inexperience manifesting itself, and he’ll re-dedicate himself to learning the NFL game, because his physical talents are ridiculous.

  6. This guy is a bigger faster Tim tebow. If he was on my team I would be doing everything I could to get him on the field.

  7. Unless he wants to flip burgers, he’d better listen to whatever talk is available that will enable him to get on the field at any position. And only until he can get on the field and showcase his talent, score some td’s and earn a nice contract, be smart and keep your options open. He’s lucky he got picked up in the supplemental draft. Acting a fool and making stupid decisions is how he got into his osu mess. Time to start listening to other folks sport.

  8. Pryor will be a practice squad player once the season starts. His accuracy is worse then Tebow’s and he was a horrible Quarterback at OSU. Will be out of the NFL in a yr or 2.

  9. You got to respect him sharing his feelings with what he went through. I know he will get trashed for this talking about this but what do you expect from the idiot masses.

  10. Can’t blame the guy. He was, afterall, drafted by the hapless Raiders. A team that hasn’t posted a winning season in nine years, including seven straight seasons w at least eleven losses, an NFL record.

  11. move him to tight end.Hes got the big body and decent speed and the Raiders need help in their recieving corp

  12. He has all the ability in the world to become a Jimmy Graham/ Rob Gronkowski type player. A sub 4.4 40 at 6-6 and nearly 240 pounds. He has to decide if he wants to become an all-pro TE/HB or a Tim Tebow type back up. He just doesn’t have the arm to be a top 15 QB in a pass first league.

  13. While I appreciate his honesty, how can someone want to give up on something they’ve worked for their whole life because they had a 5 week suspension and were behind in the playbook?? That seems like he’s in a very sensative and fragile state of mind with no real perspective in what it takes to make it in this game long term.

    A 5 week suspension is minor considering all the potential injuries, bad games, and other issues that will come up in a players career. Hate to hear that he got down on himself so quickly. Hope he keeps it together and makes a splash in the NFL…

  14. “I wasn’t getting no love toward me.”

    Forgive me but you got drafted into the NFL. It may have been a stupid move by the raiders (what else is new) but grow up.

    If you hadn’t assumed you were above everyone else in college you’d have had no suspension and entered the regular draft better prepared.

  15. vader7176 says: May 10, 2012 10:42 AM

    Why does the name Jamarcus keep popping into my head every time Pryor’s name is mentioned?

    It keeps popping up in my head too. Jamarcus came in a #1 pick with a 60 mil contract and proceeded to flop, physically and mentally. Pryor comes in as a 3rd round supplemental project and keeps in top shape and by all accounts is working his tail off to get better. If he never plays another down it was still a far better pick.

  16. Don’t worry, Pryor… If Carson Palmer goes down, Matt Leinart will go down the following week and you’ll get your chance.

  17. QB’s this bad go undrafted, unless the raiders are involved.

    Tebow looks like an all-pro in comparison.

  18. redrifle14 says: May 10, 2012 9:51 AM

    “Pryor will be a practice squad player once the season starts. His accuracy is worse then Tebow’s and he was a horrible Quarterback at OSU. Will be out of the NFL in a yr or 2.”


    3 years at OSU and he completed 60% of his passes for 6177 yards, 57 TDs and 26 ints. He also ran for 2164 yards and 17 TDs.

    Sounds pretty horrible to me!

  19. “I couldn’t even get paid by the team during the suspension”
    Wow. As opposed to all the other players who do get paid while they’re suspended?
    And does anyone really believe him for one second when he says he considered quitting football? I mean what was he going to do quit and sell insurance? He has already demonstrated that he’s not the sharpest guy through some of his past actions. I’d say football’s his best bet by far.
    I call total bs on this one.

  20. ya right. he has no degree and can he even go back to the OSU? . hes full of it. It was make hudnreds of thousands or wash cars. Shut up dude and show us what you got.

  21. Terrelle Pryor isn’t the key to the Raiders season. The Raider defense is. The offense finished 9th in yards last year with musical quaterbacks, injured receivers every week, and the best player on the team (McFadden) out for over half the season. With McFadden back and a full offseason for Palmer to get in the groove, logical thinking dicates the offense should be even better and could be downright scary. If the defense can even be mediocre, then this team wins the West and makes the play-offs. Some people will disagree with that, but that’s because they really don’t watch the games, watch the games but don’t know what they’re watching, know the personnel in the league, or have a hidden agenda.

  22. “I couldn’t be outside with the team, I couldn’t meet with the team, I couldn’t even get paid by the team during the suspension. It was hard”

    The biggest issue was having no money was it. Well I’m sure you could have gotten a loan and done various other things during the suspension. Would have been a good experience to have. The real problem is you couldn’t meet with the coaches. Maybe you should have asked some of your team mates for some guidance instead of just standing around. Oh well, he (might) grow up and gain some common sense.

  23. If he can’t beat out Leinhart for the #2 QB spot, then it might be time to start thinking about trying out another position.

  24. The guy was doing some soul searching. He was in a position he’d never been in before (on the bench).

    You can’t tell be that all of you that are bashing him have never had doubts about your direction in life.

    He’s still playing and working hard to get better. He just had some doubts about his career path. It happens to everyone!

  25. Clearly players and coaches simply never learn and continue to commit the cardinal sin, you never ever let a team know that you (player)Have lost or question your love of the game (coach) Dont have any answers. The previous two statements are certified pink slips for whomever utters them and I guarantee that Pryor wont be a Raider this season.

  26. I really do hope football works out for Pryor. There are simply not many opportunties out there in the real world for people who believe they are above the rules and expect everything to be handed to them.

  27. This is exactly what the kid deserves. He has been a liar his whole life. He verbally committed to the University of Michigan and to coach Rich Rod but then backed out on the deal when Tressel and Ohio St. used shady tactics to recruit him and paid him money to come play for the Buckeyes. Pryor is a liar, a cheat, and a back-stabbing snake who should get no sympathy from anybody. Besides, his sorry ass does not even have the talent to play in the NFL but he does have the questionable character issues it takes to play for teams like the Saints, Raiders, Redskins, or Cowboys.

  28. So a DOCUMENTED lying, cheating, rule breaking, backsliding, graft accepting pampered crybaby gets all choked up about not getting any love while he’s being rightfully punished for trying to avoid his punishment for past misdeeds? And crys he can’t get paid to do it? And considers giving up the only thing that even got him into a university and a job that pays better than $15 an hour he can get? All because he’s not being worshiped?

    Cry me a river, punk. Get a real job, punch a clock, worry about a budget and feeding your kids and see how tough your life is now, jackhole.

    Out of the league in 3 years, max. No character, no resilience, no smarts, no heart, no commitment beyond his own ego or wallet. scumbag.

    Typical sport media slobbery worship piece…any clown with no integrity and a press cred can pollute the internet with drivel and get paid to do it…almost as sad as Pryor’s situation…

  29. Lol got paid to go to osu. Prove it. He traded memorabilia for tattoos. Traded not given. What shady recruiting tactics u mean like telling him how losers go to michigan. And if he wanted a real shot at the nfl osu was the place not bitchigan hows robinson look as a qb. Thats right horrible. Pryor is 10 times what robinson is. And rich rod did such an amazing job with bitchigan and robinson that he lasted 2-3 seasons winning nothing n losing to appalachian state lmfao. And Kids flip commitments all the time which i say is ok cuz coaches can leave anytime they want but kids cant. Yea seems fair but another argument for later pryor wont be the last either so get used to it. So if ur gonna spew out crap like osu was shady n paid him. PROVE IT. U got inside sources we dont?? Jus cuz u say stupid baseless crap doesnt make it true. and im not a real big pryor fan cuz of the tattoo crap but u are completely wrong on this one.

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