Pryor questioned his love of football in 2011
Terrelle Pryor's 2011 season was lost between the Ohio State scandal that sent him to the supplemental draft to the six-week suspension imposed on the Raiders rookie by Commissioner Roger Goodell in the wake of that drama.
Pryor's rookie year was so lost that he tells SI.com that he even questioned whether or not he loved the game of football anymore.
"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]," Pryor sasid. "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?' "
Because of the six-week suspension, Pryor was behind the learning curve of everyone else, and felt like he couldn't catch up because by the time he returned, the Raiders coaching staff, led then by Hue Jackson, was focused upon weekly game preparation, not developing Pryor as a quarterback of the future.
Now, with Dennis Allen as the new coach and a full off-season, Pryor believes he is on equal footing with his Oakland teammates.
"Everything is a clean slate," said Pryor. "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."
For now, with Carson Palmer entrenched as the starter, Pryor's competition will be journeyman Matt Leinart, whom the Raiders recently signed to battle Pryor for the No. 2 job.
Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com