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Q&A with QB Terrelle Pryor


QB Terrelle Pryor speaks with the media. Photo by Tony Gonzales

Q:[Head Coach] Dennis Allen says he sees you progressing. Do you feel like you've been progressing the one percent each day that your goal was to do?

Pryor: Yeah, I believe so. I love to work hard. In my mind, if I work hard and I don't take plays off and stuff like that, I think I'm getting that one percent. I'm working hard every day. Sometimes it's not the best days but I'm still learning a new offense here. Especially me, I'm not taking a lot of reps. When I'm taking certain reps, it's just not crisp right now. After I get a couple reps, I should be fine.

Q:Is that frustrating knowing if you were out there more, it would come across better? Obviously it's part of the rule, but…

Pryor: Absolutely. But, [QB] Carson [Palmer] is the starter, so it comes with the territory. I just have to get in there and I've got to focus on the exact details. It's a little different when you're taking the actual physical snap. It's going to come around. Just certain plays that I'm not really used to, I've just got to keep grinding at it and I'll be fine.

Q:How did you develop your work ethic? When did it start, high school, college?

Pryor: I never wanted to lose, so it would start off when I was younger with my friends and stuff. They used to have DreamCast and video games like Xbox and stuff like that. Anytime I'd lose, I'd just get so mad and just go crazy. I hated losing. I think that just turned to the football field and the basketball court when I was playing and growing up. I just kept developing that. I wanted to be the best at what I was doing. I think it just comes from where I came from and the people I grew up with.

Q:What do you think your biggest improvement has been since the mini-camp in April until now?

Pryor: I think the biggest thing is just being in the huddle and having command. It's a little different when you first start and you're a little nervous, making sure you're doing everything right when you're in the huddle making the play. Making sure everyone has eye contact. I think I've gotten a lot better at that.

Q:One practice to go, basically, before training camp. Do you feel you've positioned yourself about as good as you can to be for the backup when you hit the field in July?

Pryor: I'm just trying to get better, one percent like I said. There's also preseason coming up, and when you start playing games that's important in the story. I know you guys look forward to that. I know 100 percent I am looking forward to it. At the end of the day, it's going to come down to who's productive in preseason. We're all playing good; we're all fighting and competing. We're all having fun. I love them, too. Carson and [QB] Matt [Leinart], I love being around them. I have nothing bad to say about them.

Q:You seem to have a pretty nice touch on balls that are out of the backfield, so they can catch it in a position to run after the catch. You're kind of floating it in there and they're catching their stride. Is that a ball you've always thrown well?

Pryor: I've always thrown those balls. It's just certain reps sometimes. It could have turned out and been a defensive guy made a better play and tipped the ball. It all comes down to making better throws, obviously, but sometimes you miss some throws and you want to be as crisp as you can. I've always been good on those throws.

Q:You joined the team late in training camp last year. How important is it to actually get your feet wet in preseason games this year?

Pryor: I think it's good. Not only that, but the biggest thing for me is when we get back July 29th, I believe, when we go to Napa, I think we have about 12 or 14 practices and I think that's going to be big. We're going to go over and reinstall stuff we just went over these past couple weeks. That's going to be huge to revisit and see that stuff again. It's going to be big for me.

Q: What do you take away from these three days to incorporate into your routine to make yourself better for camp?

Pryor: What I'm going to do, obviously we're talking, in contact with Rich Gannon and we're going to get together with him. We're going to create something going by [Offensive Coordinator Greg] Knapp and [Quarterbacks Coach John] DeFilippo's scheme. Obviously I'm going to take the play book, I'm going to grab a couple receivers, some younger high school guys, maybe some NFL guys, and just run the script that I have. Have them run through the same routes and go through my reads. Can't get that enough. Like I said, I don't get a lot of reps, so I have to rep it by myself. Even if it has to be with a ghost, I have to go through my footsteps. I'll get better. It just comes with it. I'm going to be working hard at it.

Q:Have you talked to Gannon before?

Pryor: He actually e-mailed me on Sunday or Monday. I texted him today because I actually just got it, it was in my Spam folder. I texted him saying 'sorry, it's a busy week but on Friday when I get back to Pittsburgh I'm going to give you a call to set up something.'

Q: So he reached out?

Pryor: Yeah, he called me back.

Q:What did you do in the offseason?

Pryor: I wasn't really sure of the offense, so I couldn't really prepare the way I wanted to prepare this year and how prepared I will be coming in this year. Unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to get drafted until like the second, or a week left of camp last year. Now that I have experience, and also a guy like Carson to bounce around ideas and learn and see what he does, and incorporate it into my own style. Now I am going to grab the folder and go through it, like I said, even if it's by myself. Just anything I could do to get an extra rep.

Q:They have you staying in the pocket for a long time. It seems that what you're used to doing is you make a few reads and once you don't find anything, you just take off and run. You use that athleticism. Is it hard for you to be forced to sit in the pocket that long?

Pryor: No, not at all. A lot of people don't know that at Ohio State, I didn't really run a spread offense, that you're running around and stuff. I was in the pocket, running through progressions. Maybe not four or five like we're doing here, but I did a bit. I completed a lot of balls under center. It's just learning. Obviously I'm an athlete so I always think I could outrun anybody or whatever the case may be on that. I just believe in my ability. Sometimes you've just got to get the ball in the other guy's hands, try to be the point guard. That's how I'm trying to do it: stay in the pocket and try to get it to the right guys. Sometimes, the play may break. Obviously you do it right now because you can't hit but if something breaks down, I could get out and make a play. I just try to stay in the pocket and do my progression and try to do exactly what the coaches want.

Q:You had a lot of playmakers on your team at Ohio State, but have you ever been on a team that had this kind of speed at the skill position?

Pryor: We had a couple guys that could run at Ohio State, but not like this. It's up and down the board here. You've probably got six or seven guys that are running 4.4 or 4.3. You've got other guys that aren't the fastest, but they've got great athletic ability. There are some great athletes on this team.

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