Steelers notebook: Pryor rejected Tomlin's offer
Terrelle Pryor, a Steeler?
Pryor said Mike Tomlin offered to draft him in the August 2011 supplemental draft, but Pryor declined. The former Ohio State quarterback then went to Oakland in the third round.
“Mike said, ‘Hey, I'll draft you if you want to play here,' ” Pryor, the former Jeannette High School star, said Wednesday. “But he gave me a story about when he was down in Tampa Bay about a quarterback (Shaun King) that was there, and he ended up being in the same hometown. It was just hard for him; he ended up cutting out because of all the distractions.”
Pryor then told Tomlin it was best for him to play elsewhere, too. “I had to say no because, at a young age, I didn't want to be near home and have distractions around me,” Pryor said.
• Linebacker Jarvis Jones (concussion) fully participated in practice Wednesday; he was held out Sunday for precautionary reasons. It was the first concussion of his career. “All the talk you hear about going on in the league, with head injuries and stuff, I think our organization does a great job of being cautious,” Jones said.
• Linebacker Lawrence Timmons (broken left hand) also took part in a full practice, as did receiver Jerricho Cotchery (abdomen), defensive end Cam Heyward (illness) and linebacker LaMarr Woodley (knee). Limited were left tackle Kelvin Beachum (ribs), right tackle Marcus Gilbert (quadriceps), right end Richard Gordon (toe), defensive end Brett Keisel (ribs) and tight end Heath Miller (day off). Receiver Markus Wheaton (broken finger) is out for a third consecutive game.
• Coach Mike Tomlin said cornerback Curtis Brown wasn't activated Sunday because of his deficient special-teams play. But Brown said he's dealing with a previously undisclosed bone bruise on his ankle. “The best thing for me was to rest it for a week,” Brown said. “It's been bothering me for a while. I haven't been able to fully run as fast as I normally am on special teams, and it's just not working.”
• The Steelers (2-4) still aren't over the anger of starting 0-4, according to receiver Antonio Brown. He hopes they carry that attitude into Oakland, where they were upset in 2006 and '12. “I think everyone's still hungry and mad,” Brown said. “We were on the losing side of things the first quarter of the season, and we just decided to win.”
• The Steelers have scored only six touchdowns on 16 trips inside their opponents' 20-yard, the NFL's next-to-worst conversion rate. They're tied for 17th overall in red zone scoring, helped by Shaun Suisham's 14-for-14 accuracy on field goals. “A couple of dropped balls by me, a couple of false starts, a couple of turnovers,” Brown said. “We've got to find a way to get the ball in the end zone and, that way, we're not creeping out of stadiums.”
• Ben Roethlisberger offered little reaction to a Forbes poll ranking him as the NFL's fourth-most disliked player; seven of the top 10 are quarterbacks. “I think a lot of people don't like us because we're usually the ones that help beat their team,” he said.
• The Raiders start two young offensive linemen from the Pittsburgh area, left guard Lucas Nix (Thomas Jefferson, Pitt) and center Stefen Wisniewski (Central Catholic, Penn State). Coach Dennis Allen said, “He (Wisniewski) has been a rock inside. … Nix is a young guy who continues to improve on a week-in and week-out basis.”
• Tomlin highly praised Le'Veon Bell despite his 34-yard effort against the Jets, and the rookie said he was boosted by the show of support from the coach. He ran for 93 yards against Baltimore. “Coach T is always in my corner, he's always going to defend me, and I'm glad he did that,” Bell said. “It's a confidence-booster for me.”