From Oct. 24, 2013
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, would that player choose the Raiders over the Steelers.
While it's an interesting footnote in Pryor's career, and despite his suggestion in the article it was due to the hometown 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.
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.
More from Behind the Steel Curtain:
- Steelers at Raiders: Everything you need to know
- Cowher to interview Franco on CBS Pregame Show
- Tomlin sending messages to players through the media
- Everyone hates Ben Roethlisberger
- Report: Steelers mulling waiver claim of tight end Tony Moeaki
- Ramon Foster: 'There weren't any minus plays' against Ravens
- Jarvis Jones plans to practice fully Wednesday in preparation for Week 8 vs. Raiders
- Le'Veon Bell using similar inferiority complex that drove Hines Ward