Yeah, Pryor has bust written all over him
Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor made it clear yesterday that last season was not good enough, both personally and as a team.
Talking tough at times, the sophomore said he was disgusted when he watched film of his debut season and saw how much he did not know about coverages and defenses.
Pryor was inserted into the starting lineup after Ohio State lost to Southern California to drop to 2-1. The Buckeyes finished 10-3, losing to Penn State and then to Texas in the Fiesta Bowl.
He vowed to become a better leader, to keep the Buckeyes together "and make sure we're getting after it, because there's teams out there waiting for us, and there's teams that we owe some stuff to. So we've just got to bring it, man."
Pryor threw for 1,311 yards last season, with 12 touchdowns and four interceptions. He led the Big Ten in passing efficiency, but he threw the ball only 15 times a game in his 10 starts.
Part of that was a conservative game plan, but part was Pryor's inexperience. He often pulled down the ball and ran it, ending as the Buckeyes' second-leading rusher with 631 yards.
He did not report last year until June and practiced as the backup to Todd Boeckman for all of preseason camp and the first three weeks of the season.
So the idea is that with a full offseason behind him -- studying film and working on fundamentals -- Pryor will be a more polished passer this fall.
The films have taught him some tough lessons. "I can't believe I didn't know that. But now I know it -- I know when that strong blitz comes, I'm going to go weak to that comeback (route) and we're going to get 18 yards, and get the ball to the receivers that can go, and maybe they can take it to the house."
Offensive quality-control coach Nick Siciliano, who has been working most closely with Pryor, said the emphasis was to improve Pryor's recognition and his footwork.
Contrary to many observers' belief, Siciliano said Pryor's sometimes funky throwing motion is not the problem.
"Most of the time, you'll find that if there's an issue somewhere, it's more with (a quarterback's) legs than it is their upper body," he said.
With Pryor's motion, "There are times where the ball doesn't always come off at the perfect point," Siciliano said. "(But) I don't think he's got an issue with it."
Pryor said he has been working on going through a five-step drop, planting and driving off as he throws. He said he's throwing with more velocity this spring.
He said he has gained seven or eight pounds of muscle in the offseason and is up to 238. He said he's fine physically, other than having a sore arm for a day or two last week.
He had little patience for talking about last year, brushing off a question about his poor performance in the Texas game (5-of-14 passing), and another one about the coaching staff taking criticism for its offensive philosophy.
"I don't listen to anybody outside the team," he said. "And us as a team, we don't listen. If coach (Jim Tressel) was coming in and saying something like, 'This is horrible,' and saying all this stuff that outsiders are saying, then we'd worry, but he's not going to do that.
"He's a perfect coach, and we've got the perfect staff, and we don't really care what anyone else says."