Terrelle Pryor says he questioned if he even enjoyed football anymore last season
Terrelle Pryor has never thrown a pass at the NFL level. Considering he is entering only his second season, that is not all that uncommon. Many rookies are assigned to clipboard duty throughout their first two or three NFL seasons without seeing the field. Some of them never see it, while others take the opportunity to learn everything they can before becoming an NFL starter. For former Ohio State standout Terrelle Pryor, watching from the Oakland sideline last season was extremely challenging.
“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,” Pryor told Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter. “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?'”
As we know, Pryor left Ohio State early after he was suspended five games for the memorabilia scandal that ripped through the Ohio State program two years ago. Then, he was suspended for five NFL games and missed all but the final week of Raiders training camp when the league ruled that he tried to manipulate the supplemental draft by applying after the deadline. Now that Hue Jackson has been fired, Pryor said he feels rejuvenated.
“Everything is a clean slate,” he said. “I can learn at the same pace as everybody else. Last year, I felt some type of way. I was like, ‘Geez, I can’t play the game that I love, I can’t play the game that I’m very good at, I can’t play the position that I’m good at. I can’t get any respect from anybody because they haven’t seen me play. It’s a weird topic for me because I had never sat on the bench before. But now I have a chance to go out and compete.”
Chances are Carson Palmer will remain the starter in Oakland next year, but it’s interesting to hear an NFL player question whether or not they love the game during their first season. Most of these guys have been married to football since they were in grade school. The fact that frustration can set in to that extent in such a short amount of time reminds us how difficult life in the NFL can be.