Terrelle Pryor said no to Steelers coach Mike Tomlin

Cary Emondson-US PRESSWIRE

Upon being asked if Pryor wanted to play for his hometown team, the Steelers, before the 2011 Supplemental Draft, Pryor said no due to the pressure he felt he'd be under in Pittsburgh.

Ray Fittipaldo has an eye-opening feature in Thursday morning's Post-Gazette, centered around Raiders quarterback and Jeanette, Pa., product Terrelle Pryor.

Speculation surrounded the 2011 NFL Supplemental Draft, and whether the Steelers would consider taking a chance on the athletic-but-raw quarterback out of Ohio State.

According to Pryor, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin gave Pryor the option, with a qualifier.

"Mike said, ‘Hey, I’ll draft you if you want to play here,’ " Pryor said. "But he gave me a story when he was in Tampa Bay about a quarterback who was in the same hometown as his NFL team and it was hard for him.

"I don’t know what the guys up top were thinking, but Coach Tomlin gave me an opportunity if I wanted to. I ended up saying no because, at a young age, I didn’t want to be near home and having distractions around me."

This won't be the last time Tomlin is asked about this, especially considering Charlie Batch, who served as something of a mentor to Pryor during his high school days, was on the roster. Batch is a Pittsburgh native as well.

Bruce Gradkowski, the Steelers back-up quarterback, is also from Pittsburgh.

Perhaps the pressure would be a bit more, but rare is the revelation in which a player allegedly was given the option from a coach to be selected by them based on his desire to play there.

Even less frequently, that player would choose the Raiders over the Steelers.

While it's an interesting footnote in Pryor's career, and his suggestion in the article it was due to the pressure, it's much more reasonable to suggest Pryor wanted to go somewhere that didn't have a franchise quarterback in place, somewhere he could have an opportunity to compete for a starting job.

So in essence, somewhere he'd have a lot more pressure than backing up one of the best quarterbacks in the game. Oakland made a lot of sense, in that regard.

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