Posted on: June 10, 2011 5:04 am
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Posted on: June 10, 2011 5:02 am
On Tuesday, Terrelle Pryor announced that he would forego his senior season at Ohio State and pursue a career in professional football. The announcement came just eight days after head coach Jim Tressel resigned due to his inability to report his knowledge of OSU players receiving improper benefits. With many new allegations surrounding Pryor following Tressel's resignation - including a report that the quarterback made up to $40,000 in exchange for signing memorabilia during 2009-2010 - it seems like the Jeannette native may be the main reason why "the Vest" will no longer be seen on the sidelines of Ohio Stadium.
Pryor was to be suspended the first five games of the upcoming college football season for accepting improper benefits. The recent allegations likely would have made him ineligible the rest of the year. Leaving was a no-brainer; especially considering the fact that the majority of his teammates who did not violate NCAA rules no longer desired him in the locker room.
As the Buckeyes' starter, Pryor had an impressive 31-4 record. Improving over his three years under center, Pryor became one of the nation's best quarterbacks. The 2010 Rose Bowl MVP had greatly improved as a pocket passer, enough so to at least draw the attention of NFL scouts. Going into his senior season, Pryor likely would have been the Heisman front-runner.
As he now looks for somewhere to play next year, Pryor remains focused on the NFL. However, he has apparently drawn the attention of a league across the border; the northern one. The Saskatchewan Roughriders have extended Pryor an offer to play for them next year in the CFL. Joining the three-time Grey Cup champions is an enticing thought, but not for the star quarterback of one of the nation's best teams.
Terrelle Pryor is accustomed to dominating Big Ten opponents in front of 100,000 + in Columbus. Now he's supposed to settle for a second-rate professional league? He may not be a surefire first-rounder. But, Pryor is easily worth a mid to late-round pick in North America's best football league. Sure, he's not the prototypical Peyton Manning, but he did win 31 of the 35 games he started; not to mention the fact that he played in one of the toughest conferences in the nation.
If there is a supplemental draft, Pryor will likely be taken in the later rounds. Whichever team drafts the former Buckeye will view him as a project. Although many believe Pryor will eventually find his niche as a Brad Smith-type wide receiver, why not give him a shot at quarterback? Are either Tim Tebow or Cam Newton really that much better under center than Pryor?
Of course, the NFL lockout makes the situation even more difficult for the former OSU superstar. With limited team workouts this offseason, a coach will be less willing to waste valuable reps on a "project" such as Terrelle Pryor. That being said, I still believe that Pryor will make an NFL roster this offseason.
CFL? UFL? No. Terrelle Pryor belongs in the National Football League.
Posted on: June 7, 2011 4:27 pm
After spending nearly two years in the Oneida Correctional Facility in Rome, New York, Plaxico Burress became a free man yesterday. Burress was serving time after being indicted by a grand jury on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and a single count of reckless endangerment in the second degree. The 33-year-old wide receiver will now look to return to the NFL. That is, assuming that there are games being played next season.
Plax has been a highly effective receiver since breaking into the league in 2000. When playing a full season, the Michigan State alum has never amassed fewer than 860 yards. He excelled in New York as a red zone target, presenting various matchup problems for shorter defensive backs.
He now faces his toughest challenge yet. Not having played organized football since 2008, Burress will need to quickly get in game-shape and learn a new playbook. This will be even more difficult in an offseason where team workouts will be limited. Unlike most of the other players at his position, however, Plax doesn't rely on speed or quickness. The reason that he was able to become one of the league's best receivers prior to his prison sentence was because of his size, football IQ, and ball skills. Burress knew how to find seams in opposing secondaries. All Eli would have to do was throw the ball within his vicinity and Burress was almost guaranteed to come down with it.
So, how much will these two years away from football hurt Burress? In those two years, the former Steeler's body was not enduring the same pounding that he otherwise would have received playing in the NFL. We know one thing: he will be fresh. And then there's the fact that Burress has reportedly stayed in shape, working out four times a week during his imprisonment. How much different is that from what most NFL players are currently doing?
It's going to take a while for Burress to get acclimated with his new team, to learn a new offense. But once he steps on the field for the first time - presumably in a preseason game - Plax will go back to being a highly-effective NFL receiver. A player as skilled as Plaxico Burress doesn't just lose his skills over a two-year period. Time is all the Virginia native will need. Michael Vick did the same thing...and he's a quarterback - the position requiring probably the largest overall skill set (mental, physical, instincts). You don't think Plax will be able to come back as a wideout?
Burress was seen this morning wearing a Philadelphia Phillies hat. Hint, hint. The Philadelphia Eagles would be a good fit for Plax. A nightmare scenario for a defensive coordinator:game-planning against two of the fastest receivers in the league (DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin) while simultaneously having to account for one of the tallest. Burress would also help a young developing quarterback; say Josh Freeman? Sam Bradford?
Wherever he ends up, Burress will be successful. He won't be a number one receiver, he won't get a big contract. Regardless, Plaxico Burress will help someone next year.