Terrelle Pryor is in line to get his ninth start of the season this Sunday versus the AFC West leading Denver Broncos, Dennis Allen announced yesterday. While this is not a surprise – Allen had intimated that they wanted to see both Pryor and Matt McGloin more before the end of the season – neither was it expected.
Pryor hasn’t started a game since week 10 when he went out with a knee injury and was replaced by Matt McGloin. As such, you would think that Pryor and his camp would be enthusiastic about being able to get back on the field and show that he is the best player to lead the team moving forward.
You would think that and you would be wrong. Pryor’s agent, far from being enthusiastic about his client getting another start, instead cast aspersions as to the motivation of Dennis Allen and the Raiders in starting his client.
Per Scott Bair of CSN, Pryor’s agent, Jerome Stanley was far from pleased about his client starting at quarterback this Sunday.
Stanley told CSN’s Bair and Fallon Smith, “"I think they're putting him in, in hopes that he fails.” He added, “That's what I think coach is doing. I think they're putting him in hopes that he has a bad game, so he can then justify the Matt McGloin situation. I think that's what's going on, I do, and it's ridiculous…”
To Pryor’s credit, he reacted quickly and decisively via Twitter, responding to his agent’s remarks in a tweet that read, “I apologize for the recent comments towards the Raiders organization. That’s not what I’m about. I’m thankful for this opportunity given to me by this great organization and the phenomenal fans. I’m very excited to play with my teammates Sunday. We hope to make you (fans) proud!”
That’s the right position for Pryor – who has been a very good teammate throughout the QB uncertainty this year – to take. There is no scenario that I see the agent’s comments as a positive.
If Allen stays next year, comments like that only put a wall between him and Pyror. If he’s gone, that particular relationship isn’t too important anymore but the new coach has to be concerned that Pryor’s agent may try to throw him under the bus, instead.
Why would the agent speak out like this about a positive situation like his client getting a start? It’s not like Pryor didn’t get any first-team snaps until the night before the game or something – he gets the entire week to prepare. Many, many players have done well with much less.
My best guess is that the agent is making a direct appeal to Mark Davis, who likes Pryor. Perhaps Stanley wants to turn this into a battle between Pryor and Allen so that Mr. Davis feels forced to choose between the two of them.
Regardless the intent, it’s safe to say that his comments didn’t have the effect he wanted. Twitter was full of remarks against the comments and his own client had to come out and apologize for Stanley’s comments when typically it’s the other way around.
Pryor deserves better than this. He’s shown that he’s a good leader and he is open and honest with the media, while being a true team player and supporting McGloin even though he lost his starting position because he tried to soldier through a knee injury that clearly had him in pain and slowed down.
Pryor has made great steps as a QB as well and the team may very well determine he can be the QB of the future. Comments like these do not help his case, however. Most people in football have thick skin but coaches, especially, do not like controversy that distracts the team’s focus away from winning games.
These comments are just that – a distraction and one that no one on this team can afford as everyone’s job can be affected by a coaching change. The Raiders have been very good about being mostly drama-free this season but these comments almost could not have come at a worse time for the team.