The Steelers were able to reel in Bruce Gradkowski to be their backup quarterback this offseason, in part, because of the allure of playing in his hometown.
But that might have cost them another quarterback.
Raiders starter Terrelle Pryor said that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin offered to take him in the 2011 supplemental draft, but that he balked at the chance to return to his roots.
Pryor grew up in the Pittsburgh suburb of Jeanette, and thought that might put too much pressure on a pro career that didn’t start smoothly anyway.
“Mike said, ‘Hey, I’ll draft you if you want to play here,’ ” Pryor said, via Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “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. . . .
“I had to say no because, at a young age, I didn’t want to be near home and have distractions around me.”
Fortunately for Pryor, he’s had a chance to develop on the other side of the country, and the lack of connections hasn’t kept him from a solid start.