When I think of Al Davis, I think of a withering, elderly man in a track suit with lots of rings. Actually it reminds me a lot of Hugh Hefner. I know it wasn’t always that way. I know there was a time when almost every player wanted to be drafted by the Black and Silver. The Raiders had an attitude and everyone knew that it stemmed from Davis. So what happened?
It is no secret that time was not kind to Al Davis. Davis made decisions for the Raider football team right up to the end of his life. One of his final decisions was the selection of Terrelle Pryor in the 3rd round of the supplemental draft in 2011. In many ways Pryor was Davis’s swan song.
Mark Kriegel wrote an excellent article about this for the NFL.com. Here is what Davis told Pryor before he took over the reigns as the quarterback.
“It’s going to be a tough couple of years,” Davis, then 82, told Pryor, then 22. “Keep plugging away. You’re going to be successful. I believe in you.”
Davis may have been prophetic. Pryor has certainly shown marked improvement over the first few games this year. He is showing better accuracy and more maturity in taking responsibility for his mistakes than in the past. If Pryor continues to improve, that selection may go down as one of the finest in Davis’ history.