Pryor splitting time in Miami, Jeannette preparing for NFL
Terrelle Pryor's quest to play quarterback in the NFL is beginning to have a distinct Steelers flavor.
The former Jeannette High School standout, who left Ohio State in June amid allegations of NCAA violations, has spent time in Florida working out with Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, former receiver Plaxico Burress and retired quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson.
Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco and Ravens receiver Donte' Stallworth also are regular route runners for Pryor.
"I'm being a sponge right now," Pryor told the Tribune-Review. "I'm trying to learn as much as I can. Coach Anderson is a brilliant guy who had a great NFL career. I'm glad I had a chance to work with him."
Still, Pryor relishes the opportunity to return home, where he is beloved by those young and old and idolized for his athletic achievements. In a school district rich in athletic tradition, Pryor stands out as arguably the Jayhawks' best athlete.
On Friday, he was working up a good sweat as he lifted weights with former high school teammates Davonte Shannon, Rob James, Jason Marquis, Nick Spino and Tyrone Baughman in the new weight room at McKee Stadium.
Afterward, he organized a workout on the stadium field, where he ran sprints and worked on his footwork, all in preparation for a possible NFL career.
"It's a relief to come back and work out with the guys," said Pryor, who has declared his intention to enter the NFL supplemental draft, which can't be held until the league's lockout ends. "It brings back some great memories being in the weight room and getting work done.
"The new facility is nice for the high school players and is something they deserve. It's a great facility, a lot different than Coach (Roy) Hall's garage. The garage, though, had character."
Pryor agreed to talk with the Tribune-Review on one condition: No questions about the allegations at Ohio State or his leaving the university.
Asked at one point if he felt he made mistakes, Pryor paused, then dismissed the question.
Pryor left Ohio State amid an NCAA investigation into improper benefits to Buckeyes players. The university suspended Pryor and four teammates for the first five games this fall for selling memorabilia for cash and tattoos. The NCAA also is investigating vehicle transactions involving Pryor and other Ohio State athletes and two Columbus, Ohio, car dealerships.
The ordeal led to coach Jim Tressel's resignation.
While appearing recently on an ESPN special with former Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, Pryor admitted to making mistakes and regretting how he and Tressel left Ohio State.
On Friday, he raved about the opportunity to work with Gruden.
"Coach Gruden, he's my man," Pryor said. "He's a great guy, and it was a great opportunity for me, Cam (Newton), Blaine (Gabbert) and Jake (Locker) to work with him.
"You have to soak that in from a great quarterback coach and a guy who knows the quarterback position and learn as much as you can."
Pryor spends part of his time training at a Jewish community center in Miami.
Mostly, he's trying to refine his throwing technique, an area in which he said Anderson has been instrumental.
"Footwork and getting my hips right during my throwing motion is the biggest thing he's taught me," Pryor said. "Little things to make me a better quarterback."
He said he has not been frustrated by the NFL lockout, despite the uncertainty of his future.
"I'm getting a chance to work on things I didn't do well at Ohio State," Pryor said. "I have a chance to get better. I want to be the best quarterback I can possibly be.
"Whether I go as a first-round (supplemental) draft pick or a seventh-round draft pick, it doesn't matter. ... When I get in there, I'm going to work my butt off and compete."
Hall, who served as Pryor's quarterbacks coach at Jeannette before becoming head coach after Pryor graduated, said he sees a difference in Pryor.
"He eats right, and he's focused during his workouts," Hall said. "He's gotten better with his footwork and throwing motion, and he likes showing me what he's learned.
"For people to say Terrelle is not a hard worker or a good leader, then they are not seeing the person I'm seeing. Terrelle is always talking or showing the kids here what he has learned and sharing experiences with them."
Pryor knows people doubt that he will make it at quarterback in the NFL. He said all he can do is show them they are wrong.
"The time will come," he said, "when I show them that I can."
Terrelle Pryor works out at Jeannette High School
Terrelle Pryor prepares for the NFL while working out with former Jeannette High School teammates at McKee Stadium in Jeannette on Friday afternoon July 15, 2011.
The Pryor file
Accomplishments: Big Ten Freshman of the Year (2008); Rose Bowl Most Valuable Player (2010); Big Ten Most Valuable Player (2010); Sugar Bowl Most Valuable Player (2011)