Not long ago, the word on the NFL street was that former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor was destined to play receiver at the next level. One high-profile agent and a high-profile former coach turned high-profile ESPN analyst later, and Pryor could be on his way to being taken seriously as a pro quarterback.
Jon Gruden, who recently worked with Pryor for the latest edition of Gruden’s QB Camp series, gushed about Pryor the way that Gruden gushes about, well, everyone else. (At least when the microphone is on.)
“You can’t be more impressed with the guy physically,” Gruden told WDTN at a University of Dayton golf event in Centerville, Ohio, via the Twitter feed of ESPN spokesman Bill Hofheimer. “He’s all of six-foot-five, he’s 235 pounds. He’s a double threat. He’s one of those guys that can be a terror to defenses. He’s got some work to do, fundamentally. He knows that. But he does have rare talent.”
Holy crap. Maybe he’ll be a first-round pick in the supplemental draft, after all.
So what about Pryor’s downside? You know, the possible sense of entitlement and/or arrogance that fueled whatever happened in Columbus that he now won’t talk about?
“The object of these shows is not to try to uncover every negative thing that exists,” Gruden said, a somewhat flimsy excuse for failing to acknowledge the scarlet-and-gray elephant in the room. “I don’t really know the exactness of what happened at Ohio State. But I do know that Pryor is disgusted and feels terrible about what has occurred. At the same time, he just turned 22 years old on Monday. He gotta move on with his life.”
We don’t disagree with the notion that Pryor has to move on with his life. We’d simply prefer that Gruden be honest with himself and the rest of us about the connection between his decision to refrain from true criticism of any player he encounters and his intention to return to coaching in the NFL with maximum options and leverage. The guy likes everyone — primarily because he eventually could be coaching any one of the players on whom he’s now commenting.