Former Iowa and NFL safety and current National Football Post writer Matt Bowen tweeted earlier this week he is down on Terrelle Pryor after watching three game tapes of the Ohio State quarterback.
Turns out he watched the Miami, Wisconsin and Iowa games, so it’s not hard to imagine he would come away with a negative opinion.
Pryor was erratic against Wisconsin and Iowa and had a handful of head-scratcher decisions and throws against the Hurricanes.
He admitted his numbers were terrible against Miami, although he rightly pointed out the Hurricanes’ defense was not the type a guy was going to have a highly efficient day with the way they pressed the Buckeye receivers. And he did complete a breathtaking deep ball to DeVier Posey that led to a touchdown, but I suspect an NFL scout is more worried about consistency than potential. Lots of guys can make throws here and there.
Pryor looked much smoother in the weeks after the Miami game, almost like a different player. He sliced up overmatched defenses from Ohio, Eastern Michigan and Indiana with precision passes and solid decisions (His injury sort of skewed things in the Illinois game), and it wasn’t a matter of those teams just falling all over themselves. He made his fair share of NFL quarterback reads and throws, delivering the ball smoothly and calmly all over the field.
Then he went to Wisconsin and seemed to let the situation overwhelm him. He never looked comfortable, as if the game was too big for him, and he sprayed the ball all over the place. After that, the coaching staff took the ball out of his hands for two weeks and the offense flourished behind the offensive line and tailback Dan Herron.
They tried to let him light it up against a subpar Penn State secondary but went back to the run to really do the winning damage in the second half.
He was up and down against Iowa, which was better than the Wisconsin game in that there were ups. Again I thought he was somewhat erratic (though several drops hurt), but he kept his wits about him down the stretch when he really needed to, so that was certainly a step forward from Wisconsin.
The bottom line is Pryor continues to be a project. Maybe it’s like a 30-something’s biological clock ticking, but we all seem to feel like the light has to have gone on by now if it is going to go on, that the ship has sailed on consistency from him. That’s silly, though. I never thought Troy Smith would put in a season in which he looked like Drew Brees until it actually happened, so there’s always time.
I still think the only position Pryor could play in the NFL is quarterback. I don’t think he has the foot quickness to play wide receiver, and he’s not physical enough to play tight end. Plus there are a lot of skills specific to those positions that he would have to spend time learning.
He has the physical tools to do the job, so eventually it will just come down to reps. He’ll either smooth out the inconsistencies in his delivery and continue to hone his decision making, or he’ll have to find another line of work.
And for what its worth, he’s much bigger with a better arm and more experience in a pro-style offense than the typical quarterbacks we’ve seen come out and move to another position such as Brad Smith or Antwaan Randle-El.
Also this week:
Spencer Hall pretty much sums up my thoughts on the great Iron Bowl Tree Massacre
There’s a thousand very stupid columns out there today about it and we’re not linking any of them, because this has no larger implications for society and especially not for Alabama, the state that wakes up 365 days a year crazier than a feral cat put into a running dryer. Like a syphilitic Lord Byron waking up craving opium and dirty women, they were mad yesterday, are mad today, and will be mad, bad, and dangerous to know tomorrow. If this part of the country weren’t full of at least seven states of similar insanity and decrepitude, it’d be a shame, but it’s kind of hard to pick the crazy one out of the lineup when they’re all pantless and ranting about the secret government wires in their head.
In summary: the rivalry is not out of hand, sports does not occupy too large a role in our lives, and everything remains as ghoulishly fascinating, horrifying, and magical as it was yesterday. Settle the fuck down.
He obviously has more first-hand contact with Alabama folks, so I’ll have to take his word on them, but I have to agree that this is not a sign sports is somehow creeping out of its little part of the world to ruin society.
Insane does as insane do, there are just more sad insane people than there were last week…
Also from Orson, some suggested rule tweaks for NFL.
I like the dropkick idea (presume he means make it legal beyond the line of scrimmage again because it is still legal behind the LOS, just nobody does it because place kicks are more accurate), and I would go a step further.
Let’s outlaw pure kicking specialists. To be eligible to kick a point-after-try or a field goal, one must have been on the field on the previous play, so he must be competent at some other football skill. That would add some intrigue, wouldn’t it? Kicking is not so difficult that several of your best skill players couldn’t learn how to do it relatively consistently, and I’m sure I’m not the only person who finds it melodramatic when a kicker who was otherwise not really involved in the game comes in with the ability to decide the outcome.
I’m also a proponent of a weight limit. Shrink the linemen to 300 pounds or less and you would have more versatile players on both side of the ball, not to mention healthier players.
Mobile offensive linemen are more effective than bulky ones except for one thing: Defensive linemen in the NFL are so big they overwhelm the athletic advantages, and there are few enough NFL roster spots that those coaches can hold out for guys that are the size they want without sacrificing as much skill as coaches at any other level must (or they would be collecting them, too).
Bring in a weight limit and we could see the return to more cleverly designed blocking schemes of old: Traps and sweeps and other misdirection plays. Running would be easier, making play action more effective and opening up the door to more big plays down the field as opposed to the boring ball-control passing the game has been trending toward for quite a while…
Misadventures in parking on campus. Who hasn’t wondered this themselves?…
Another thought on Rich Rodriguez from Chris at SmartFootball:
To me it’s simple: Rich Rodriguez never fully embraced being a head coach; he always thought of himself as offensive coordinator
Makes a lot of sense considering the hair-brained way he seemed to approach everything else, from offseason work to defense to special teams, where no one seemed to ever quite have a handle on what they should be doing or how to do it…
Speaking of RichRod: Really Maryland? …
The student section at the Schot rocks now, so that’s cool. I was there for the beginning of its long, slow death in the last days of the Jim O’Brien era. Amazing how they managed to move the students behind the benches after years of saying they had determined it was physically impossible because of the set up of the lower bowl…
And finally, the NYT on the death of the actor who played “Uncle Leo” on Seinfeld:
“Jerry! Hello!” Mr. Lesser, as Uncle Leo, would cry whenever he’d encounter his nephew in a social situation on “Seinfeld.” His greeting was usually accompanied by an elaborate palms-up gesture of welcome, and followed by a meandering digression of increasingly unbearable inconsequentiality..
Enjoy your Ohio State-Purdue basketball double-header today (Men on CBS at 1, women on ESPN2 at 5) and be sure to check out BuckeyeSports.com for recaps.