Three and Out: Pryor's risky move; Raiders finally heading home
Terrelle Pryor will wear No. 2, recently worn by Raiders JaMarcus Russell and Aaron Brooks. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
NAPA -- Terrelle Pyror must not be a superstitious sort.
The Raiders quarterback took on fate Wednesday afternoon, exchanging No. 6 for No. 2. It was his college number at Ohio State, but it also serves as a stain on Raiders lore.
It was the number worn by JaMarcus Russell, a draft bust of the highest order and enemy of Raider Nation. The former No. 1 pick flopped in the pros, swindling the Raiders for $36.4 million of a $68 million contract. But his performance and unwillingness to work sent the Raiders into a dark period.
Pryor requested No. 2 after being taken in the 2011 supplemental draft, but former Raiders coach Hue Jackson wouldn’t let Pryor take it because Jackson didn't want to associated his young quarterback with Russell’s messy tenure.
The number doesn’t hold a stigma with Dennis Allen’s staff, which allowed Charles Woodson to wear No. 2 during offseason training activities. Punter Marquette wore No. 2 last training camp before being placed on injured reserve, but he switched to No. 7 prior to this season.
Pryor declined to discuss the number switch after Wednesday's practice. Starting quarterback Matt Flynn was surprised by the switch.
"I had to do a double take," Flynn said. "Not only was it a new number, the jersey looked a little big on him."
Raiders quarterbacks have never worn No. 2 well. Russell and Aaron Brooks wore No. 2, and have a combined 7-26 record. Despite Russell’s infamy, Brooks might’ve been worse with a 0-8 record as a starter.