Newton's QB coach expects to work with NFL-minded Pryor

What could Terrelle Pryor have in common with Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers?

Pryor might be the latest protégé of quarterbacks coach George Whitfield, the Canton Repository reported Sunday.

Whitfield said he's close to being hired to tutor Pryor as the former Ohio State quarterback prepares for the NFL Supplemental Draft, whenever that might be, according to the Repository.

"It is my understanding I am heading (to Miami)," said Whitfield, who's wrapping up a 2,000-mile bus tour of visits with 40 quarterbacks. "I look forward to working with him. From a kid that grew up in Ohio and knows how important the Buckeyes are and my relationship with (former Ohio State) coach (Jim) Tressel and his relationship with coach Tressel ... on top of the fact he's talented and a big competitor. It's a challenge to me. I know Terrelle wants to be as good as he can be."

Whitfield disagrees with the assessment of some analysts that Pryor's best position in the NFL might be tight end.

"I almost jumped off the couch (during the NFL draft) when I heard that," Whitfield said. "They put in all their chips against him and made a definitive statement about a guy who is 31-4 at one of the more premier college programs in America."

Whitfield already has a blueprint for Pryor.

"The big thing is I've got to get him more familiar with his operation in the pocket in terms of footwork and throwing from the pocket," Whitfield said. "Of the guys I've worked with, Pryor has played more under center than any of them. It's not that he's deficient in that area, but it's what the NFL wants. The league puts a premium on operation from the cockpit, and we'll work on that."

Whitfield coached Newton before and since his selection as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. Whitfield also worked with Roethlisberger while the Pittsburgh Steeler sat out his four-game suspension at the start of the 2010 season. And Whitfield worked with Rivers in 2007 while serving as an intern on Cam Cameron's Chargers offensive staff.

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