Terrelle Pryor has switched his jersey number to No. 2 for the Raiders, and to explain this curious change, one can only assume that Pryor falls into one of the following categories:
1. He is not superstitious.
2. He is crazy.
Either way, Pryor, who had been No. 6 the last two years, is still associating himself with some rather dubious and unflattering company by embracing the loneliest number since the number one.
Three other players have officially worn No. 2 for the Silver and Black: punter Leo Araguz and two quarterbacks Raiders fans are trying so desperately hard to forget: Aaron Brooks and, you guessed it, JaMarcus Russell. You know you’re dealing with a depressing collection of players when Leo Araguz is the one of the bunch who least makes you want to punch a hole in the wall.
Just for reference, here are the stats for Brooks and Russell from when they were in Oakland. Raiders fans should avert their eyes:
8 starts, 1,105 passing yards, 3 TD, 8 INT, 57.3 percent passing, 61.7 rating, 0-8 team record
25 starts, 4,082 passing yards, 18 TD, 23 INT, 52.1 percent passing, 65.2 rating, 7-18 team record
This is the company Pryor now joins. He actually almost became part of it sooner but was deflected by then-Raiders coach Hue Jackson. No. 2 was the jersey Pryor wore and frequently autographed (allegedly!) during his three years at Ohio State. When he first joined the Raiders in 2011, Jackson asked what jersey number the quarterback wanted. Pryor responded with No. 2. Jackson, realizing the bad joo joo surrounding that number, more or less replied, “No. 6 it is!” And he’s donned that digit ever since. Here’s what Pryor said at the time:
“Coach won’t let me wear No. 2. Why? I don’t know,” Pryor said. “You tell me. I’m just going off what coach tells me.”
With Jackson long gone and the deuce currently available (Charles Woodson and Marquette King have split time wearing the number in various camps the last two seasons), Pryor, fate be damned, isn’t going to let anybody stop him from claiming it now.
But it will probably be a while before Pryor can prove or disprove whether No. 2 is the tiki idol of jersey numbers for Raiders quarterbacks. He’s still considered a project and likely won’t be named the starter. And, unless Matt Flynn royally poops the bed, Pryor won’t be called on to do much other than be a wrinkle in the offense for a couple plays a game this season. It’ll maybe buy him time to have a change in heart.