LeBron reaches out to Terrelle Pryor

Cleveland Cavs’ star LeBron James has recently started reaching out to Ohio State sophomore quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who has come under criticism lately after his poor performance in the Buckeyes’ loss to Purdue last Saturday.

From ESPN.com:

“[I’m] trying to mentor him and get him through ‘life in the spotlight,’ which I’ve been through,” James said after a preseason game in Columbus on Wednesday night.

James said he has been speaking to Pryor on the phone in recent weeks to try to help him deal with celebrity at a young age. James knows something about that, since he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated under the headline “The Chosen One” while he was still in high school in Akron, Ohio.

“Being that No. 1 guy, how do you adjust to it and how do you get through it and still perform at a high level?” James said. “Sometimes it can be very difficult on [a young athlete]. I’m trying to be that guy who can really help him get through a lot of situations which he’s never seen before but now he’s seeing and understanding.”

Pryor said the bad game at Purdue had helped open his eyes.

“That opened me up to the world and opened me up to myself and who I am as a person,” Pryor said. “I think maybe that was the best thing to happen to us last week. Maybe we’ll learn from it. We’re having real good practices, and we’re just trying to get the fans back on our side.”

Pryor seems to have a good head on his shoulders and generally wants to excel at the collegiate level. Hopefully he doesn’t succumb to the pressure and criticism of the media and tanks the rest of his career because he has plenty of athletic talent.

This is when Jim Tressel needs to step up and do everything he can throughout the week and on Saturdays to ensure that Pryor succeeds. If that means scaling back the playbook and giving Pryor only 10 plays to master, then so be it. Spreading out the offense and trying to fit a round peg in a square hole won’t work and Pryor will only continue to struggle.

It’s great that a star like LeBron is willing to help a student athlete out. But he isn’t going to be around Pryor all the time like Tressel is. Maybe Tressel’s future at Ohio State should be tied to how Pryor develops over the next couple years. (If it isn’t already, that is.)

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Should Ohio State bench Terrelle Pryor?

Gerardo Orlando of Cleveland Scores wonders whether or not Ohio State should bench highly touted sophomore quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

As an Ohio State fan, it’s hard to imagine watching Pryor play quarterback for two more seasons. The Buckeyes are loaded on defense, and they have a solid offense as well, even with a mediocre offensive line. All they need right now to compete is a quarterback who can hit open receivers and avoid turnovers. They don’t need a Vince Young or even a Troy Smith. Put Craig Krenzel on this team and the Buckeyes are competing for a national championship. Instead, we have the Terrelle Pryor train wreck, and an excellent defense is being wasted.

Pryor chose Ohio State because he wanted a program that could help him develop as a future NFL quarterback. That seems like a pipe dream now. The kid needs to focus on just being a competent college quarterback.

What should Tressel do? Would sitting Pryor help? Tressel needs to consider this if Pryor continues to turn over the football. He owes it to the other players on the team.

In the meantime, short of benching Pryor, Tressel needs to rethink what he’s trying to do on offense (the issue of Tressel calling the plays will be addressed another time). We can see he’s already tried to incorporate the option more into the offense, but we’re seeing that Pryor’s instincts aren’t much better there. Perhaps with practice he’ll get better, as the option at least plays to his running ability. Tressel should toss aside a good chunk of the playbook and go to a much simpler offense. Focus on running the football, the option, and other Wildcat-type plays, and have Pryor make much simpler throws that play off the running game. Dig up old tape from Oklahoma and Nebraska from the 1970’s, or even most of the Woody Hayes years. Keep it simple until the kid shows he can handle more.

Buckeye fans often get frustrated with Tressel’s conservative play-calling, but opening up the offense is not the solution here. He has to pull things back and start over. And, if Pryor can’t cut it in a simpler offense, then Tressel will have to make a change.

Well said. I could get into all of the things Pryor is currently struggling with, but the article does a nice job going into detail about the sophomore quarterback’s issues with arm strength, accuracy, mechanics, pocket presence, decision-making and leadership.

I find it interesting that Pryor was between Ohio State and Michigan two years ago and he might have been a better fit for Rich Rodriguez’s offense than Tressel’s. Not that Pryor has run the option well at OSU, but at least Rich Rod could have exploited Pryor’s running abilities.

That said, hindsight is always 20/20. If Pryor isn’t cut out to be a collegiate quarterback, then Ann Arbor wasn’t going to solve his issues.

Related Posts