To say that Terrelle Pryor had a tumultuous 2011 season would be an understatement. Already suspended by Ohio State University for the first five games of the season, Pryor was one of several Buckeyes under investigation for receiving improper benefits when he withdrew from the university and fought to gain entry to the 2011 NFL Supplemental Draft.
Selected by the Oakland Raiders in the third round of that draft, Pryor was forced to sit out the first five weeks of the season, a period during which he contemplated leaving football, and did not once see the field as a rookie.
Thoughts of giving up football are behind him now and the 23-year-old enters his first NFL offseason determined to be more than a No. 3 quarterback behind Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart on the Raiders depth chart. Palmer's job as the starter is safe, but Pryor could push Leinart for the No. 2 role this summer. To do so, the 6-foot-5, 232-pound Pryor will need hit the film room and work on his mechanics.
Quarterbacks coach John DeFelippo is convinced Pryor has the work ethic necessary to become a good player in the NFL, Vittorio Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
"He's going to give himself a chance to be a good player in this league, because of his work ethic," quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo said. "He's a gym rat here in this building. He loves being here, loves talking football, loves being around, playing the game...He's getting better every day."
Pryor scoffed at the whispers questioning his arm strength, but acknowledged that he needs to improve his footwork.
"I think the biggest thing is to keep working on my feet and getting my footwork down because sometimes it's not consistent," said Pryor, who has also reached out to former Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon to help improve this offseason. "When it's consistent, I make perfect throws. When it's not, sometimes it's not the best drive. So I just have to keep working on that and getting better at it."