The Oakland Raiders opened Sunday’s game with an epic play call, one that definitely caught the Pittsburgh Steelers off-guard. However, the read-option run might have done more than just trick the Steelers’ defense. In fact, Pryor’s teammates, the guys who were supposed to block for him, were completely surprised by the play call that resulted in a NFL-record 93-yard run.
“I heard the crowd cheering, I kind of looked at D-Mac (Darren McFadden) and he looked like he was 5 or 6 yards downfield,” center Stefen Wisniewski said, according to Bay Area News Group. “I was like, ‘Are we that excited about a 5- or 6-yard gain?’
“Sure enough, I look up and Pryor’s at the 50 with no one around him and I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s why they’re cheering. Sweet.'”
Offensive tackle Matt McCants was just as surprised as anyone else along the offensive line was.
“I decided to hit my guy as hard as I could,” McCants said. “The next thing, I looked up and T.P. was in the end zone. So, I was like, that’s a good sign.”
It is unclear if the offensive line was completely unaware of the play call or simply shocked that Pryor kept the football. From the sound of it, the players truly believed the call was a run to McFadden. With that being said, the coaching staff was on board all the way, or at least that is the story head coach Dennis Allen is going to stick with.
“I think we ended up making that decision on Saturday morning,” Allen told reporters when asked when he had decided to go with that specific call, according to Raiders.com. “That’s kind of what we end up doing as far as…we kind of have a menu of plays that you want to start the game out, your openers.”
The fact that there is an interesting story behind the longest run from scrimmage for a quarterback in league history just adds to the fun.