Oakland Raiders quarterback, Terrelle Pryor, has hired three quarterback coaches to help him with his technique this offseason.
If Terrelle Pryor never becomes a starting NFL quarterback, it isn't for lack of trying. He knows he has a lot of work to be done before he is ready to take the reins as an NFL franchise quarterback. We have seen his many pictures posted on Twitter of him working out with fellow Raider players.
While it's great to get together and build chemistry with his teammates, it's only part of the equation. The more important part is working on his technique. He knows as well or more than anyone what his strengths and weaknesses are and is working to improve them.
"I can extend plays," said Pryor in an interview for NBC Sports Wednesday. "You don't know what you're gonna get from me as a quarterback from a defensive perspective they don't know exactly if I'm gonna run the ball or hold onto the ball a little bit and add a little extra time to get the receiver open or I can do a three step drop on time. I feel like I can extend plays well and I'm so fast. I believe in my speed, that I can get around, and wait for guys to get open as well."
But his athleticism has never been the question. It was the reason Al Davis used the Raiders' third round pick on him in the 2011 supplemental draft. It's his ability to throw the football that is the question. Now, he says he is taking the next step to try and improve that part of his game.
"My biggest thing is, I'm hiring three quarterback coaches - Craig Austin, Whitfield, and Steve Clarkson," Said Pryor. "Combined with them guys I want to work on just staying balanced at the end of my drop, that's where I was messing up a lot of my throws. It's not the arm strength, it's not any of that. I have a pretty strong arm, it's just staying balanced at the top of my drop and getting into my hips and that's the biggest thing. And I also want to work on the stuff with my feet because I missed two throws in the game I started that should have been possible touchdowns that I missed and to this day I'm still angry at myself for missing them. That's the reason why and I know what I need to work on now."
Craig Austin works alongside Steve Clarkson. Both at one time were instructors at the All Pro Football Camp in Southern California. Austin himself boasts having coached several NFL players - most of whom are receivers. While the information on the site is outdated, Terrelle Pryor is actually in the masthead along with Cam Newton and Andrew Luck.
One of the more interesting facts about the camp is that it's curriculum was designed by - wait for it-Hue Jackson (There that man again).
Clarkson now has his own private quarterback instruction business called "Steve Clarkson: Dream Maker". He boasts having tutored the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Leinart, J. P. Losman, Gino Torretta, Matt Barkley, and Jimmy Clausen.
The Whitfield Pryor speaks of is George Whitfield who is also a private quarterback coach. He too boasts having worked with many of the same quarterbacks as the other instructors. Vince Young and Cam Newton were also known for having worked with him. Many have compared Pryor to Young and Newton so working with the same QB coaches makes a bit of sense.
It's clear Pryor is seeking every possible bit of assistance he can to try and make a push to prove he belongs as an NFL quarterback. Any talks of being a starter would be getting ahead of himself.
"When that time comes and I have that opportunity, I'll be more than ready but right now I'm trying to win over my coaches, win over my teammates, and everyone in the facility that I want to be a leader, a great leader and I'm there for the long haul. I want to win as bad as everybody else and that's why I want to prove to everybody before I get into talks of starting and stuff like that."
The second year quarterback knows his place in the hierarchy and is doing everything he can to improve that standing. There is still over two months before the Raiders players take the field again for offseason activities. It will be the first chance Pryor has to show whether all this work and instruction is paying dividends.