I’m sure Si.com writer Andy Staples is a nice guy, but I just can't find myself agreeing with his recent article on media darling Terrelle Pryor. What bothers me is not that Andy thinks Terrelle is a great football talent—he surely is—but his belief that “Pryor can make the same throws as Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford.”
Now hold on just a minute. The same Sam Bradford who threw for 3,121 yards, 36 touchdowns, and eight interceptions, and completed 69.5 percent of his passes his freshman year?
Or was it the same Sam Bradford who threw for 4,720 yards, 50 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions, who completed 67.9 percent of his passes his sophomore year, and who was projected to be the No. 1 pick in the draft had he declared pro?
According to Andy, “experience and intangibles are all that separate Pryor from” Bradford. Well, those are some pretty lofty expectations for a player that passed for 1,311 yards, 12 touchdowns, and four interceptions—considering that Ohio State coaches did everything in their earthly power to keep the ball out of the air in 2008.
As proof, Andy points to two plays in Ohio State’s spring game where Pryor demonstrated his Sam Bradford-like throwing ability. On the first play, Pryor launched a 44-yard bomb that was caught by Taurian Washington for a touchdown.
I wasn’t too impressed with the play, which can be seen here.
I couldn’t figure out what was worse: the fact that the announcer of the game declared that the wind had died down for the throw, that Washington was not hit in stride but had to slow down and reach back for the ball, or that Pryor’s feet were locked on Washington from the moment he took the snap. Still can’t put my finger on it.
The second play, however, actually was a sweet—although risky—throw where Pryor found receiver Ray Small on the right sideline. Had the safety not been pulled from the crowd and donned with a jersey for the game, the play would have been a nice 15-yard gain.
But is one sweet throw all it takes to warrant a Sam Bradford arm? I guess so.
According to Andy, “only a handful of Football Bowl Subdivision quarterbacks could have made the throw Pryor completed to Small in the spring game, and even fewer could reproduce the throw Pryor made moments earlier—a 44-yard bomb that sliced through the gale and landed in Taurian Washington's hands in the end zone.”
I think that’s probably not the case. I think only a handful of FBS quarterbacks could not have made that throw to Washington, and I’m pretty confident Sam Bradford would have hit Washington in stride.
So I’ll decline Andy’s challenge to “go ahead” and “[t]ell Pryor he can’t throw.” I would, but I happened to lose his cell phone number. I’ll just state for the record that he’s no Sam Bradford.
More analysis on Wolverine football at www.michiganfootballblog.blogspot.com.