GREENSBURG– Former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor worked our for at least 17 NFL teams yesterday, among them were representative from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Reading into that fact may be a fun thing to do, but it’s really pointless.
Tampa Bay isn’t in a high demand of a quarterback, and won’t be shelling out money to add Pryor. View the Bucs attending Pryor’s workout as Mark Dominik not wanting to overlook anything available. Afterall, if he’s willing to scower the waiver wires and practice squads why wouldn’t he attend the workout of an athletic former Big Ten quarterback?
That being said, crazier things have been done. As unnecessary as first drafting and then signing Pryor is, it couldn’t hurt the Bucs. Having Pryor switch positions wouldn’t be the first time a player has done that. Heck, it wouldn’t even be the first time a former Big Ten quarterback did that. Larry Johnson was a quarterback at Penn State, switched to Running Back and was a league leader for the Kansas City Chiefs. Eric Crouch won the Heisman Trophy for Nebraska and entered the NFL Draft as a Wide Receiver.
If the Bucs have a chance to gamble on Pryor (and they have to to have one for any of this to be relevant), switching him to Running Back would be the best option.
There is no doubt Pryor is an extremely talented athlete, but not only to the Bucs not need a Quarterback, Pryor doesn’t have the track record of being a very accurate one. Every since Micheal Vick came out of Virginia Tech and basically revolutionized the quarterback position to a degree, teams have been gauging players against him.
If you’re a quarterback and you can run, the comparison to Vick is instantaneous whether an analyst says it or you think it yourself.
Duplicating Vick’s success is the flip side of the coin. Players are compared to him because not a lot of other guys do it like him and that goes for Pryor. He’s got speed and vision for running, but his quarterbacking goggles are a bit smudged. Making him a running back makes the most sense if Tampa gambles.
A lot of people wanted Tampa Bay to look at a running back in the draft, even as high as 20 and Mark Ingram. Tampa made the smart move and doubled up on defense, but the running back position isn’t that solid. LaGarrett Blount is the main guy, there’s no question about that, but just as the Bucs have struggled to find a consistent quarterback up until Freeman, the same goes for the running back spot.
Now this isn’t to suggest that Blount won’t be consistent or that Pryor will be a franchise back, but since Warrick Dunn the Bucs have cycled through back almost like the Broncos have but on a much less psychotic level.
Micheal Pittman. Thomas Jones. Cadillac Williams. Earnest Graham. Derrick Ward.
Since the Super Bowl in 2002, all of these guys have suited up for the Bucs at running back. The term revolving door comes to mind.
Adding Pryor would add depth and possibly potency to the Bucs backfield that has Blount returning. Having a two back system would benefit both backs involved. Allen Bradford has looked good, but whether or not he can be consistent is another question. Pryor not only has the higher potential to be consitent, but his quarterback history gives the Bucs another weapon to play with; it could be a Wildcat thing, or some crazy scheme drawn up by Raheem Morris. His arm can lead to a lot of halfback options that scramble a defense’s read on the offense and, in combination with the Bucs main weapons, can produce points and victories for Tampa.
Getting Pryor may not be a high priority by any stretch, but it wouldn’t be a disaster if Tampa was given the chance to roll the dice on him. Mark Dominik’s glorious success and brilliant player decisions last year give credence to having faith he won’t flub up too egregiously.
But then again, knowing how geeked up Dominik is on attending rookie workouts of players who weren’t drafted, he may not have been able to pass up a rock-star name that dropped into the pond in which he treads.
Josh Hill is a Senior Writer for The Pewter Plank. You can follow him on Twitter (@jdavhill) for all the latest Bucs news. Check in with The Pewter Plank daily for the best dose of Bucs news around.