Quarterback Terrelle Pryor was supposed to be an afterthought this season. As a matter of fact, Pryor was still widely considered to be a project at the quarterback position, somewhat of an anomaly as a signal-caller.
His time was supposed to have come and gone. He was just going to be another one of those wonders who did some nice things at the college level, but a player who largely fizzled out trying to make the grade in the NFL.
Through the myopic views of many media pundits and sports talking heads, Pryor was just another running quarterback who didn’t possess the necessary IQ to be an NFL quarterback. After all, Pryor had already shown he could be an elite runner.
However, the stigma of lacking intelligence and developing a sound work ethic plagued Pryor during the first couple of years in the pros after leaving Ohio State. Pryor isn’t the first quarterback to be dogged with that type of football stereotyping.
He certainly isn’t the first black quarterback to be brandished as a runner first, a passer second. That’s because it has become the norm for media types and football personnel to quickly dismiss the intelligence of the black quarterback. It is no surprise that coaches are enamored with the athleticism of the mobile quarterback.
What has been surprising has been the still resistant attitude towards giving black quarterbacks the same type of opportunity their white peers receive. Sorry have to go there, but the truth is the truth.
There is no black quarterback who could get the opportunity that former Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders QB Matt Flynn have gotten.
Flynn got two multi-million-dollar deals with the Seahawks and Raiders-both contracts basically offered to him based on one overrated statistical game as a backup to Aaron Rodgers. Vince Young can’t even get a full-time football gig with a team, but this dude Flynn gets more opportunity to cash in than a riverboat gambler.
Flynn, who lost his job as a starter last season to Russell Wilson, has received a cool $14 million bucks for starting the grand sum total of one game. Talk about a knucklehead decision by the Raiders, the team’s management brass couldn’t be pleased with paying Flynn $6.5 million for this season.
And while we’re at it, you might as well as include the stupefying call to arms by the media to uplift, cheer and rally around Nick Foles and Kevin Kolb to become the next household football darlings they want to embrace.
Not so with Pryor, who came into the NFL already scarred by the backlash of having the audacity of selling off his Big Ten Championship ring for some hard, cold cash. Ohio State, with Pryor as their starting quarterback, won three Big Ten titles and delivered victories for the Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl.
That still didn’t get Pryor any love from any NFL team. The late Al Davis and the Raiders picked up Pryor in the NFL’s 2011 supplemental draft. Since then, Pryor has faced and dealt with ridicule and almost blanketed skepticism across the board as a pro signal-caller.
Pryor has also lived with the fact that the Raiders didn’t place too much faith in him by going out and getting one overrated quarterback after another. First, it was Carson Palmer. Then came the now-proven useless Flynn and unknown and unproven rookie commodity Tyler Wilson, whom the Raiders picked in the fourth round of this year’s NFL draft.
The Raiders cut Wilson. They’ve gotten rid of Flynn, surely paving the way for Pryor to become entrenched as the team’s franchise quarterback. What took general manager Reggie McKenzie to realize that? It’s a good thing McKenzie has Pryor to fall back on or else he’d be hanging out with Wilson and Flynn.
Pryor is the real deal. Just ask Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. The Denver Broncos found out what Pryor can do. I suspect the San Diego Chargers are now aware of Pryor’s talents after he ran circles around them in the first matchup of the teams’ two-game meeting this season.
Now that his play is getting rave reviews, Pryor has been the object of a lot of butt-kissing these days. I guess the media had better get used to doing a lot of puckering up.