Part of the Bay Area News Group

Eclectic Christensen fit right in with Raiders cast of characters

By Steve Corkran
Wednesday, November 13th, 2013 at 6:28 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Long before he developed into one of the league’s most productive tight ends, Todd Christensen stood out among the colorful characters in the Raiders locker room.

Christensen died Wednesday as a result of complications from surgery. He battled liver disease and other unspecified illnesses in recent years, according to numerous reports. He was 57.

He joined the Raiders in 1979, a year after he entered the league as a second-round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys. Christensen played for the Raiders in all but one game during his 10-year career.

From the time he arrived in Oakland, Christensen served notice that he wasn’t like most of his teammates in many ways, even though he blended in well on a team chock full of characters because he boasted the kind of quirkiness that owner Al Davis loved.

Former Raiders great Todd Christensen died at 57 on Wednesday. He was a five-time Pro Bowl tight end and a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Raiders. (Associated Press)

He sported a curly-haired mullet and distinct mustache, quoted big-name authors and read poetry aloud.

“He was an interesting guy,” current Raiders owner Mark Davis said. “He was a very, very smart guy, cerebral guy. He also was a wacky guy, a fun guy and a great receiver. Just a great guy all the way around.”

Christensen was thrown into a locker room littered with Pro Football Hall of Fame-bound players — Art Shell, Gene Upshaw, Ted Hendricks and Dave Casper — and big personalities such as John Matuszak, Lester Hayes, Kenny Stabler and Cliff Branch.

Yet, Christensen dared to be different, stayed true to his beliefs and carved out his own niche. He was a devout Mormon who didn’t drink alcohol and excelled at everything he tried.

“Todd was a Raider,” receiver Morris Bradshaw said. “His faith, his look, his eloquence, his vocabulary; you wouldn’t normally think someone that had those characteristics would fit into our team, but he fit in as well as anyone else.

“That was the magic. That you had all these characters, we were perceived as misfits, that we didn’t go together. … Yet we came together as a team.”

The Cowboys had envisioned Christensen playing fullback, but a broken foot in the final exhibition game in 1978 ended his rookie campaign before it began. Then-coach Tom Landry asked Christensen to convert to tight end the following summer, but he resisted was ultimately cut. He was signed by the Giants and played one game before ending up with the Raiders.

Tom Flores was the Raiders coach when Christensen arrived in 1979 and coached him for all but Christensen’s final season.

Flores said Christensen first played only special teams for the Raiders because veteran tight ends Casper and Raymond Chester were entrenched on the depth chart.

As time progressed, Flores used Christensen in a variety of roles — long-snapper, H-back and finally tight end.

“He did everything well,” Flores said. “He was just a talented all-around player.”

Christensen seemed to get just as much enjoyment from a dictionary and Thesaurus as he did from an NFL playbook.

“He always came up with big words,” Flores said. “Most of the time, most people didn’t know what the hell they meant, so they would ignore him.

“He always made his point that, ‘I know big words.’ I never challenged him on, ‘Do you know what it means?’ ”

Well, there was that one time in practice, when Christensen quoted author Henry David Thoreau, one of his favorites.

“So, I gave him a quote from Tennessee Williams and told him to get the (heck) in the huddle,” Flores said. “He said, ‘Touche, coach’ and got back in the huddle. That’s the way you countered him.”

Former NFL running back Mike Adamle got to know Christensen as a co-host of the show American Gladiators in the early 1990s. He told USA Today that Christiansen prided himself on being well versed on all subjects.

“He didn’t suffer fools very well,” Adamle said. ” … Whatever the topic was, you’d better come prepared to talk about it because he knew everything there was to know.”

And there wasn’t much that Christensen didn’t try. He self published three books of poetry, dabbled in acting and tried out for the A’s and California Angels after he retired from football.

He reportedly hit a home run during his workout with the A’s in 1990 and said afterward: “That was pretty exciting. I thought, ‘What’s there to this? It’s easy.’ ”

He failed to make it in the majors, so he tried his hand at track and field. Not surprising, Christensen set age-group world records in several events, including the heptathlon, while competing in masters events.

Christensen caught 461 passes for 5,872 yards and 41 touchdowns during his NFL career. He earned five Pro Bowl selections and was voted All-Pro twice.

In a TV interview several years ago, Christensen said he never took for granted what football provided.

“I realize that this is the dream of millions and yet I was living it out. My father had instructed me many years ago that there was only one sin, and that was the sin of ungratitude. … The son of a University of Oregon professor and a homemaker probably had no business being on this stage.”

Christensen dominated on the NFL stage from 1983-86, when he averaged 87 receptions for 1,099 yards and eight touchdowns.

He is survived by his wife and four sons.

  • Share/Bookmark

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    This is true

  • seymour bush

    Clearly the Raiders have no idea what they are doing at the quarterback position. And I caught a HUGE amount of flack in here earlier in the year, because they did everything exactly OPPOSITE of what I thought they should do. Now, it looks like the $4-5mm for Palmer would have been a bargain instead of dumping $6mm for Flynn and tarping the upper decks. Both of those ideas were embarrassing.

    Throwing Pryor out there was also not the best idea anyone has ever come up with, but you have to blame that on Raider Fan. Raider Fan wanted “sparkle pony” and Raider fan got “sparkle pony”. Problem is “sparkle pony is not an NFL Q”. So now we are left with McGloin, who is also not an NFL and a guy I thought should have seen more playing time Ty Wilson. But Wilson is somewhere in Siberia so we are going to see Mini Brees. THAT, is a recipe for disaster.

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    Hate on Palmer all you want it wont make us any better or make Reggie McKenzie a better GM.

  • RaidingTexas

    Some stupid idiot in Detroit doesn’t mean it’s a full blown race war.

  • RaidingTexas

    I thought sparkle pony was Kluwe?

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    pryor

    10 tds vs 11 ints through 10 games

    leads nfl qbs in rushing, leads the raiders in rushing

    doing it behind 3rd string and practice squad line men

    looks pretty good to me

  • kenchun24
  • RaidingTexas

    Reggie has done well enough on defense to make me want him around another year. But yes, the decisions on QBs is worrisome. I think he needs to get a third party to help him there.

  • RTF916

    What GM does different? Again, other than that great, acclaimed GM Hue Jackson…

  • RTF916

    What GM does anything different with our QB situation?

  • The Big Banana

    That you think Raider fan has anything to do with personnel decisions is funny. If that was the case, fire management today.

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    Stop it already you look dumber by the minute…..How about this…..He could have drafted EJ Manuel…Now what?

  • aig-raiders

    I know some of you dont think much of McGloin but I’ve been a fan of his since the preseason. Kid has over achieved everywhere he has been. I loved his poise and decision making. If TP can’t go, then I’m all for this kid. The Oline is much better now than at the beginning of the season so he will survive.

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    The Bills GM drafted EJ Manuel.

  • _Mista_

    His ability to throw pics is uncanny.

    8+ sacks coming on sunday.

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    Attention bloggers:

    Hating on Carson Palmer does not make a more awesome raider fan.

  • R8erEduc8er

    I see it for what it is. We can all agree that QB is the most important position on a team. We can all agree that a really good QB is gonna cost a pretty coin. So shouldn’t we all agee that a 4th rounder and what we gave up for Flynn and Wilson is peanuts? Therefore, expecting to land a franchise QB between the two is wishful thinking. The only way to find a franchise QB is giving up high picks and high salaries via trade (Palmer failure) or drafting one in round 1. We did neither. RM was hoping Flynn, Pryor, or Wilson would surprise…the jury is still out on Pryor and Wilson (I know, you guys don’t think anything’s there). If any of the 3 had seize the opportunity, we’d hit the jackpot! If not, then we’ll grab one in ROUND 1, like all other teams do. Any other team that doesn’t get a franchise QB in round 1 or via a blockbuster trade got LUCKY!! We weren’t so lucky. Has nothing to do with RM’s QB evaluation. He didn’t pull a Kevin Kolb trade for Flynn, did he?? My opinion.

  • bcz24

    Tarping the upper decks had nothing to do with keeping Palmer or acquiring Flynn.

  • RTF916

    White supremacist views are becoming more mainstream on the right. If you compare the status quo conservative today to the status quo conservative 20 years ago, you’d see it. I was watching Bowling For Columbine yesterday. There’s a scene where Michael Moore is interviewing a militia in Michigan that Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh once belonged to. This was in 2002. Their views, which were still considered extreme then, are now the norm on the right. The things they were saying are the things that tea partiers say today.

  • The_Judge37

    Let’s keep the hate strictly for those still in Silver and Black.

  • willy91137

    The trouble with running quarterbacks they don’t last 16 games in

  • _Mista_

    Attention bloggers:

    Hating on TP does not make you a more awesome Raider fan.

    Just a tr0ll.

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    Here comes the Judge!

  • R8erEduc8er

    Without knowing what Pryor can do? I think it was smart to wait til next year’s draft to draft a QB, if he decides to.

  • Guest

    .ie7 .small-buttons .cnnItem2 { display:none }
    .ie7 .large-buttons .wdt_button {margin-top:8px;margin-bottom:18px}
    .ie7 .small-buttons .wdt_button_min {width:108px;}
    .ie7 .wdt_button_min #share_popup { left:46px; }
    .ie7 #share_popup li img { margin-top:0; }

    0
    inShare

    Tumblr

    StumbleUpon

    Reddit

    Digg

    Del.i.cious

    inShare

    Tumblr

    StumbleUpon

    Reddit

    Digg

    Del.i.cious

    A forgotten man his first two years
    in the NFL, Terrelle Pryor is now firmly in the spotlight as the Raiders’
    starter.

    Jed Jacobsohn/SI

    It’s midday of an October Friday, and with the Raiders in their
    bye week after losing four of their first six games, many players have left town
    to recharge and regroup. Quarterback Terrelle
    Pryor isn’t among them. He’s spent this morning at the team’s training
    facility in Alameda, Calif., devouring digital cut-ups for things to work on,
    most notably not drifting in the pocket when taking snaps from shotgun
    formations.

    Despite showing promise over the first half of the season —
    his 58.9 completion percentage tops that of Andrew
    Luck, Tom
    Brady and Eli
    Manning, for instance, and his 63 rushing yards per game lead all
    quarterbacks — he has been sloppy as times, especially in the previous Sunday’s
    24-7 loss at Kansas City. So he grabs a football and corrals quarterbacks coach
    John DeFillipo and prepares to head out back to an empty practice field, only to
    receive word from GM Reggie McKenzie that the impromptu session was
    impermissible because it would violate the collective bargaining agreement,
    which requires players to have four consecutive off days during the bye week.

    Undeterred, Pryor tucks the ball and relocates to an off-site
    field where he practices his drops until his quads burn and sweat beads roll
    down his face. Then he slides into his sleek black Mercedes coupe and heads to
    his townhouse at the end of a cul-de-sac in the Oakland Hills. The view is
    spectacular. From the living room he can see the Bay Bridge to the right, and
    past it, San Francisco, partially hidden by a low marine layer. In the valley
    below sits antiquated O.co Coliseum, where he plays home games and two weeks
    prior led a stunning late-night upset of the Chargers, in which he completed
    18-of-23 passes for 221 yards, two scores and a 135.7 passer rating.

    But football is the last thing on this 24-year-old’s mind right
    now; his body is tired, his head sleepy. He has put in more practice hours and
    taken more game snaps in the first six weeks of 2013 than he did in his first
    two years combined, when he was a backup. He wants to nap as he unfolds his
    6-foot-4, 233-pound frame over a white leather chair, but he’s unable to do so
    because punter Marquette
    King, a close friend, and marketing manager Tyler Acevedos are visiting. A
    national media outlet also is calling repeatedly in hopes of setting up a photo
    shoot the next day, and two other journalists from another national magazine are
    waiting to conduct a previously scheduled interview.

    Such are the blessings and curses of being a starting
    quarterback in the NFL. For Pryor, who entered the league as a third-round
    supplemental draft choice in 2011, his time was basically his own his first two
    seasons. He was third on the depth chart, which meant he was basically invisible
    to coaches, whose time was spent preparing the starter and, to a lesser extent,
    the backup each week. But that changed before the season opener, when Pryor beat
    out Matt
    Flynn for the starting job. After doing only a handful of interviews each of
    his first two seasons, he received 50-75 requests in the first week he was
    formally named the starter. His life has not been the same since.

    Over the first eight weeks of the season Pryor provided SI with
    a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what young quarterbacks face when becoming a
    full-time starter for the first time. Talents such as Andrew Luck, Robert
    Griffin III and Russell
    Wilson made it look easy last year, when they led their clubs to the
    playoffs as rookies. But the challenges are significant. The most notable for
    Pryor were learning to manage his time and outsiders’ expectations; establishing
    himself as a leader; and dealing with adversity.

    ***

    If Pryor didn’t realize the responsibility that comes with
    being the face of a franchise beforehand, he did early in the season when a fan
    approached him. Like most who run into the former Ohio State star around town,
    the fan just wanted to say hello and offer a few words of encouragement. But
    this time was different because the fan became overly emotional. Tears ran down
    his face as he thanked Pryor for bringing hope to a franchise that has not had a
    winning season since 2002. Pryor didn’t know how to respond. This was deeper
    than football. He knew the pain of losing a game, but seeing someone who had
    lost hope — and now rediscovered it — was a sobering lesson that he was
    accountable not only to his teammates and coaches, but also a fan base starved
    for success.

    Pryor smiled and hugged the fan. Football players often are
    erroneously viewed as brutes who lack compassion, but the exchange clearly
    resonated with Pryor. Since leaving Ohio State a year early after being
    suspended for receiving improper benefits, he has become more spiritual and
    appreciative of friends and supporters. It’s common for him to tell friends to
    text him when they get home so he knows that they’ve arrived safely. He is
    similarly concerned when it comes to his team, which he’s learned leads to
    physical and mental fatigue.

    That wasn’t an issue his first two seasons, when he was the
    forgotten man as the No. 3 QB. He knew there was virtually no chance of playing
    on Sundays, so he would arrive at the Raiders’ headquarters shortly before the
    first meeting and head home almost immediately after the last one. He worked
    hard in between, but when the work day was over he often was home by 3:30 or 4
    p.m., stretched out on the couch, watching a movie or fiddling with a Madden
    controller. “I figured, ‘Hey, if they don’t want me to play …’” said Pryor,
    who now can be found at the facility from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

    The “office” has become a sanctuary for Pryor, who has become
    a target since moving into the starting lineup. People want to greet him, take a
    picture, get an autograph. Now, if he’s in the mood for relative privacy, for a
    dinner without interruption, as he was three nights before a Week 4 game against
    Washington, he’ll drive 20 miles east, through the Caldecott Tunnel, to the less
    intrusive suburb of Walnut Creek. But even there he’s not entirely safe. His
    waiter at an upscale steak house gets tongue-tied discussing the specials
    because, he says, he’s a huge Raiders fan; his mom even worked at a popular
    sports bar frequented by Raiders fans.

    The reality is that there’s no place for Pryor to hide, not
    even in his own locker room. Quarterbacks face more scrutiny than any other
    player. He’s the person who sets the tone for the team, and how he handles a
    difficult situation –a loss, an injury, a locker room issue — could have a
    ripple effect. If he is lackadaisical in his approach, others might be as well.
    If he takes short cuts, they might too.

    That lesson was driven home early this season after Pryor was
    late for an offensive meeting because, well, he needed a few extra minutes in
    the bathroom. Irritated by this, offensive coordinator Greg Olson let him have
    it. Olson, who is liked and respected by his players, demands accountability
    from them. In this instance he reminded Pryor that everything he does has
    consequences, good or bad. If the starting quarterback doesn’t think it’s
    important to be at a meeting on time, regardless of the reason, then why would
    someone else?

    Now, Pryor says he’s so aware of Olson’s words that he
    hesitates to hit the head even when he has the
    urge.

    Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/news/20131114/terrelle-pryor-oakland-raiders/#ixzz2keRMyxw5

  • JOn Wooah

    In most organizational models, the quarterback sits at the top
    of the pyramid when it comes to players. He’s the guy who sets the tone and
    holds others accountable. But if you’re Pryor, and you’ve had only one start
    coming into this season, how do you lead when all you’ve done for two years is
    follow? How do you make your voice ring resoundingly when for two years your
    role was to be seen and not heard?

    “There’s a respect factor involved,” Pryor said. “I like to
    challenge everyone on the team, not just the offense. But in the beginning I
    couldn’t do that because — imagine that you’re [defensive end] Lamarr
    Houston and you’re a solid player, been in the league four years, one of the
    team captains, you’ve got respect in the game, and I come up to you and say,
    ‘Hey, pick up practice.’ You would look at me sideways and smirk. But if you
    earn your way and you get a little respect and you go up to him and say that
    same thing, it’s different. He’ll respond.”

    But how best to do that? Working hard and making plays are
    definite requirements, but there’s so much more to being someone who commands
    respect in and outside the locker room. Lamonte Winston, the Raiders’ Director
    of Player Engagement, has been instrumental in helping to develop Pryor as a
    leader. He studies him during practice and games and meets with him weekly to
    discuss the necessary characteristics of being an effective leader. Their early
    talks dealt with being a professional and managing the media. Look reporters
    in the eyes, Winston said. Keep your head up. If you’ve got a baseball
    cap on, raise the bill so people can see your face, he said. He reminded
    Pryor that the media were there to see and hear him, so don’t act like it’s an
    imposition to be there. Engage them.

    Later their conversations turned to things that happened in the
    game. Winston can recall an early-season matchup in which Pryor was upset about
    something that happened on the field and vented as he came to the sideline. The
    rant didn’t stop there, however. Pryor kept venting for everyone to hear. The
    next week Winston informed him that the behavior would push away teammates
    instead of unifying them. Pryor took the words to heart and has since been much
    more conscious of his words and actions in the heat of the battle.

    “Terrelle is a very conscientious young man,” Winston said. “He
    wants to do well. He wants to be really, really good. The thing he had to learn
    was that when you sit in the captain’s chair as a quarterback, all eyes are on
    you. There’s a default look that we all have when you think nobody is looking at
    you, and he didn’t know that he had that. I said, ‘How you carry yourself is
    important.’ It’s an unwritten part of the job, but it’s there. If you don’t play
    well, you should have the same confidence and look and approach to folks as when
    you do play well. We have to assume our responsibility. People want to see the
    consistency in your personality. That’s the development of a great leader. Once
    Terrelle understands something from a trusted source, he’ll do whatever it takes
    to change.”

    Pryor now has earned the right to have his voice heard in
    practice and meetings. He has no reservations about speaking up or speaking out.
    In practice, when the tempo is lacking, or he sees an offensive lineman dragging
    and sucking air, he’ll sprint downfield after a handoff even if the play doesn’t
    call for him to do so. Then he’ll hustle back to the huddle, showing his
    teammates that he’s willing to do more than what’s asked of him. That he’s
    holding himself accountable.

    “I try to pick guys up and make them play to a level of
    expectation,” he said. “I feel like I have a connection with everyone on the
    team, that I can challenge them without them taking it wrong. I challenge them
    to be great.”

    After a Week 1 loss to Indianapolis, which concluded with him
    throwing an interception at the Colts’ six-yard line in the final minute with
    the Raiders trailing by four, Pryor was more angry than disappointed. He felt he
    had lost the game not by throwing the pick, but by taking a 16-yard sack two
    plays earlier, on first-and-goal from the 8. When told afterward that Indy’s
    coaches were effusive in their praise of him, he said: “Tell them they won’t
    beat me again. … They got lucky.”

    Cocky or confident, it was just the right tone for a team
    seeking a return to relevance. If he didn’t believe it, why should his
    teammates?

    Winston thinks it’s working, and he points to the reception
    Pryor received two weeks later when, after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday
    practices while recovering from a concussion, he returned to the field on
    Friday. Offensive linemen stopped what they were doing and approached the QB. It
    was a sign that they not only cared about him, but they trusted him as the guy
    to lead Oakland back to respectability.

    “It was so awesome that I brought it up to him later,” Winston
    said. “I wanted him to understand what had happened. That was a huge moment.
    When nobody was looking, when it was just him and his offensive line, there was
    that bonding moment. How great was that?”

    ***

    It’s a harsh reality of the NFL: First-rounders and high-price
    free agents traditionally get more time to work through their struggles because
    their teams have made significant investments in them. But when you’re someone
    like Pryor, a third-round supplemental pick who early on had the stigma of the
    Ohio State scandal attached to his back, your opportunities aren’t usually as
    plentiful. A few bad performances, an injury and — who knows?

    Pryor was reminded of this on the evening of Oct. 5, while
    communicating with fans on Instagram. He had played reasonably well in the
    Raiders’ first three games — a close loss to Indy, a win over Jacksonville and
    a loss at high-powered Denver — but now fans were asking him about the Raiders’
    reported interest in QB Josh
    Freeman, who had been released by Tampa Bay two days earlier. Pryor was
    blind-sided.

    “When I heard about it, I’m like, ‘Geez, I haven’t played
    terribly,’ ” Pryor said the following night after an impressive showing in the
    win over San Diego. “The two losses — Indianapolis and Denver, are two of the
    top teams in the league. I was thinking, Maybe they [the fans] don’t like me.”

    Pryor smiled as he said it, but McKenzie, who was not with the
    team when Pryor was drafted, wasn’t joking when he said after the San Diego
    victory that his job is to assemble the best 53-man roster possible, then let
    players compete for playing time. In the Raiders’ eyes, Pryor remains raw,
    particularly as a passer. That’s not surprising considering he averaged just 159
    pass attempts over his three seasons at Ohio State. Pryor’s strength always has
    been his dynamic running ability, and the hope in Oakland is that he will one
    day complement that with an improved passing game.

    In the meantime, they remain non-committal on him longterm
    (he’s in Year 3 of a four-year rookie deal). They need to see more plays like
    this one against the Chargers: Midway through the fourth quarter, San Diego had
    cut Oakland’s 24-3 lead to a touchdown. The Chargers had momentum and the
    Raiders faced 3rd-and-14 at their own 41; a defensive stop would’ve given San
    Diego great field position for a potential tying score. Instead, Pryor eluded a
    would-be sack in the pocket, sprinted to his right and lasered a 19-yard
    completion to Brice
    Butler. Four plays later, Sebastian
    Janikowski kicked a 50-yard field goal for a comfortable two-score lead.

    Still, it’s games like the following week’s loss at Kansas
    City that give Oakland pause. There, Pryor was sacked nine times and threw three
    interceptions, one more than he accumulated in his first four games combined.
    The QB easily could’ve pointed to his third-string center and left tackle or to
    his reserve right/left guard, but Pryor put the performance on his own
    shoulders. He missed protection calls at times and forced plays at others.

    “We were down 14-7 and we were getting first downs, but every
    time we got near the 50 we had to punt,” he said. “Their quarterback, Alex
    Smith, was managing the game better than me, checking down and moving the
    chains. So, I was like, I’ve got to make something happen. I’ve got to make
    something happen. I’ve got guys who look up to me as a leader, and they’re
    saying they need me to make a play. I got caught up in that trap and tried to do
    more than I should have.”

    Raiders coach Dennis Allen has said on multiple occasions that
    one of the things he likes about Pryor is his ability to learn from his
    mistakes, and the first-year starter’s words suggest the coach is on to
    something. “I truly believe [we were] meant to run into Kansas City this early
    so I could learn and understand situations,” Pryor said. “Managing the game is
    going to come up at important times. I don’t know when or where, but I know it
    will be important.”

    The words proved prophetic following the bye, when the Raiders
    held off the Steelers after building a 21-3 lead. But the past two weeks have
    involved more learning and more growing pains, first a 49-20 loss to the Eagles
    and a 24-20 defeat against the Giants. Pryor struggled against Philadelphia and
    failed to finish the game because of a knee injury. It wasn’t the first time he
    had dealt with adversity, and it won’t be the last. (Pryor faces another
    challenge this week as the knee injury suffered against the Eagles continues to
    plague him.) The unanswered question is, how will he handle it? Before finally
    taking a nap during the bye week, he addressed the ups and downs of being a
    young starting quarterback as follows:

    “I’m enjoying the process of getting better,” he said. “I know
    I’m not the greatest, but I kind of amuse myself in my mind by acting like I am.
    That’s how you’ve got to be. That’s the first step to achieving your goal. There
    are so many things you have to deal with as a young quarterback that if you
    don’t believe in yourself, who will?”

    Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/news/20131114/terrelle-pryor-oakland-raiders/#ixzz2keRZE4Na

  • RTF916

    Oh, ok.

    “Carson Palmer was the right fit for us. You disagree? You already look dumber by the minute!” It’s so easy being you, isn’t it?

  • seymour bush

    The team knew that the second they jettisoned Palmer and had no one in the wings, that already falling ticket sales were going to plummet. So, yes, not signing Palmer was a message the org sent that they were hoisting a white flag on the season.

  • willy91137

    I think if we would have kept Carson Palmer we probably wouldn’t win as many games as we have he never would never lasted behind that offense of line

  • JOn Wooah

    New ARticle by jim trotter SI

    —————–

    A forgotten man his first two years
    in the NFL, Terrelle Pryor is now firmly in the spotlight as the Raiders’
    starter.

    It’s midday of an October Friday, and with the Raiders in their
    bye week after losing four of their first six games, many players have left town
    to recharge and regroup. Quarterback Terrelle
    Pryor isn’t among them. He’s spent this morning at the team’s training
    facility in Alameda, Calif., devouring digital cut-ups for things to work on,
    most notably not drifting in the pocket when taking snaps from shotgun
    formations.

    Despite showing promise over the first half of the season —
    his 58.9 completion percentage tops that of Andrew
    Luck, Tom
    Brady and Eli
    Manning, for instance, and his 63 rushing yards per game lead all
    quarterbacks — he has been sloppy as times, especially in the previous Sunday’s
    24-7 loss at Kansas City. So he grabs a football and corrals quarterbacks coach
    John DeFillipo and prepares to head out back to an empty practice field, only to
    receive word from GM Reggie McKenzie that the impromptu session was
    impermissible because it would violate the collective bargaining agreement,
    which requires players to have four consecutive off days during the bye week.

    Undeterred, Pryor tucks the ball and relocates to an off-site
    field where he practices his drops until his quads burn and sweat beads roll
    down his face. Then he slides into his sleek black Mercedes coupe and heads to
    his townhouse at the end of a cul-de-sac in the Oakland Hills. The view is
    spectacular. From the living room he can see the Bay Bridge to the right, and
    past it, San Francisco, partially hidden by a low marine layer. In the valley
    below sits antiquated O.co Coliseum, where he plays home games and two weeks
    prior led a stunning late-night upset of the Chargers, in which he completed
    18-of-23 passes for 221 yards, two scores and a 135.7 passer rating.

    But football is the last thing on this 24-year-old’s mind right
    now; his body is tired, his head sleepy. He has put in more practice hours and
    taken more game snaps in the first six weeks of 2013 than he did in his first
    two years combined, when he was a backup. He wants to nap as he unfolds his
    6-foot-4, 233-pound frame over a white leather chair, but he’s unable to do so
    because punter Marquette
    King, a close friend, and marketing manager Tyler Acevedos are visiting. A
    national media outlet also is calling repeatedly in hopes of setting up a photo
    shoot the next day, and two other journalists from another national magazine are
    waiting to conduct a previously scheduled interview.

    Such are the blessings and curses of being a starting
    quarterback in the NFL. For Pryor, who entered the league as a third-round
    supplemental draft choice in 2011, his time was basically his own his first two
    seasons. He was third on the depth chart, which meant he was basically invisible
    to coaches, whose time was spent preparing the starter and, to a lesser extent,
    the backup each week. But that changed before the season opener, when Pryor beat
    out Matt
    Flynn for the starting job. After doing only a handful of interviews each of
    his first two seasons, he received 50-75 requests in the first week he was
    formally named the starter. His life has not been the same since.

    Over the first eight weeks of the season Pryor provided SI with
    a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what young quarterbacks face when becoming a
    full-time starter for the first time. Talents such as Andrew Luck, Robert
    Griffin III and Russell
    Wilson made it look easy last year, when they led their clubs to the
    playoffs as rookies. But the challenges are significant. The most notable for
    Pryor were learning to manage his time and outsiders’ expectations; establishing
    himself as a leader; and dealing with adversity.

    ***

    If Pryor didn’t realize the responsibility that comes with
    being the face of a franchise beforehand, he did early in the season when a fan
    approached him. Like most who run into the former Ohio State star around town,
    the fan just wanted to say hello and offer a few words of encouragement. But
    this time was different because the fan became overly emotional. Tears ran down
    his face as he thanked Pryor for bringing hope to a franchise that has not had a
    winning season since 2002. Pryor didn’t know how to respond. This was deeper
    than football. He knew the pain of losing a game, but seeing someone who had
    lost hope — and now rediscovered it — was a sobering lesson that he was
    accountable not only to his teammates and coaches, but also a fan base starved
    for success.

    Pryor smiled and hugged the fan. Football players often are
    erroneously viewed as brutes who lack compassion, but the exchange clearly
    resonated with Pryor. Since leaving Ohio State a year early after being
    suspended for receiving improper benefits, he has become more spiritual and
    appreciative of friends and supporters. It’s common for him to tell friends to
    text him when they get home so he knows that they’ve arrived safely. He is
    similarly concerned when it comes to his team, which he’s learned leads to
    physical and mental fatigue.

    That wasn’t an issue his first two seasons, when he was the
    forgotten man as the No. 3 QB. He knew there was virtually no chance of playing
    on Sundays, so he would arrive at the Raiders’ headquarters shortly before the
    first meeting and head home almost immediately after the last one. He worked
    hard in between, but when the work day was over he often was home by 3:30 or 4
    p.m., stretched out on the couch, watching a movie or fiddling with a Madden
    controller. “I figured, ‘Hey, if they don’t want me to play …’” said Pryor,
    who now can be found at the facility from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

    The “office” has become a sanctuary for Pryor, who has become
    a target since moving into the starting lineup. People want to greet him, take a
    picture, get an autograph. Now, if he’s in the mood for relative privacy, for a
    dinner without interruption, as he was three nights before a Week 4 game against
    Washington, he’ll drive 20 miles east, through the Caldecott Tunnel, to the less
    intrusive suburb of Walnut Creek. But even there he’s not entirely safe. His
    waiter at an upscale steak house gets tongue-tied discussing the specials
    because, he says, he’s a huge Raiders fan; his mom even worked at a popular
    sports bar frequented by Raiders fans.

    The reality is that there’s no place for Pryor to hide, not
    even in his own locker room. Quarterbacks face more scrutiny than any other
    player. He’s the person who sets the tone for the team, and how he handles a
    difficult situation –a loss, an injury, a locker room issue — could have a
    ripple effect. If he is lackadaisical in his approach, others might be as well.
    If he takes short cuts, they might too.

    That lesson was driven home early this season after Pryor was
    late for an offensive meeting because, well, he needed a few extra minutes in
    the bathroom. Irritated by this, offensive coordinator Greg Olson let him have
    it. Olson, who is liked and respected by his players, demands accountability
    from them. In this instance he reminded Pryor that everything he does has
    consequences, good or bad. If the starting quarterback doesn’t think it’s
    important to be at a meeting on time, regardless of the reason, then why would
    someone else?

    Now, Pryor says he’s so aware of Olson’s words that he
    hesitates to hit the head even when he has the urge

    Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/news/20131114/terrelle-pryor-oakland-raiders/#ixzz2keRr2fg1

  • JOn Wooah

    Jim
    Trotter ‏@SI_JimTrotter
    1h

    Wrote a couple of weeks ago about some challenges Terrelle Pryor faces as a first-year starter. #Raiders http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/news/20131114/terrelle-pryor-oakland-raiders/?mobile=no

  • RaidingTexas

    Agreed. The QBs in the 2013 draft were nothing spectacular. I think 666 is more upset about the Palmer trade though.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    if only that were the only incident this year, sadly there have been many

  • The_Judge37

    I thought all we needed was a QB who can get rid of the ball quickly?

  • seymour bush

    Allen had already seen a full blown QB controversy with Teblows and Orton in Denver. He saw a full blown one brewing here as well. The fans were booing Orton, and they were booing Palmer and Flynn. The fans spoke. And they got what they wanted: crap.

  • RTF916

    Keeping Palmer would have been a white flag.

  • seymour bush

    Since you had blown all your cred to bits months ago, the “looks pretty good to me” comment about Pryor’s play is just more fire in the dumpster of your comments.

  • rifflicks

    butt licking a loser like Pryor doesn’t make you a better Raider fan than others……just a more stupid one

  • rifflicks

    Post a link to O N E speech given at an “official” Tea Party rally that has racial connotations……O N E

  • RTF916

    If you trace the history of “anti-government” speech, it goes back to the beginnings of the GOP’s “Southern Strategy”, which involves getting poor whites that were once Democrats to vote Republican, by making them angry about blacks being Democrats, and using the government programs they use. Also, in 1964 it became illegal to racially discriminate, so racist institutions starting using code words to describe black people instead of direct racial slurs. “thugs”. “animals”. “welfare queens”. These are all terms conservatives use to describe blacks. Tea partiers and modern day conservatives use these terms all of the time. Rush Limbaugh uses them all day, and even invokes the term “monkey” a lot when referring to blacks.

  • RaidingTexas

    There have always been incidents, year in year out. White people have been killed by black people every year too. Again, not evidence of “open season”.

  • bcz24

    You are aware that they announced the tarping a full 2 months before Palmer was traded right…

  • RaidingTexas

    No, those views have always been there with the right. And they’ll quiet down after the President’s second term ends. They hate him, and this all comes out of that hatred.

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    Palmer was due $13 million, not 4-5.

  • DutchRaid

    They always get $hit wrong…but I will post-it anyways…
    CBSSports.com
    (02:36 pm ET) Raiders starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor returned to practice Thursday after missing the Wednesday session with a knee ailment. But his status for the game Sunday in Houston remains unclear. He was merely splitting first-team reps with backup Matthew McGloin in team drills, according to CSNCalifornia.com.

  • bcz24

    He actually saved 7M in cash. The cap isn’t real money.

  • _Mista_

    Hope & Change

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    What are you complaining about today?

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    2013 draft do-over: screw Matt Flynn. Select Barkley or Nassib at #42. You can get an OL of Menelik’s talent at #112 overall (in place of Wilson). saved money & draft picks. wouldn’t be forced to start McGloin if Pryor is hurt or fails…

  • RTF916

    oh, yawn. And the GOP solution: Everyone just go to the ER!