In a recent interview, Terrel Pryor and coach Tressel sat down with Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com. They spoke about a number of interesting topics, including the expansion of the Big 10. You can see the entire interview here.
One portion of the interview that stuck out to me, was when Pryor talked about his knee injury and how he plans to adjust his play this season.
Q: How’s the knee?
Pryor: You’re not always going to be 100 percent. I’ll probably never be back to 100 percent. If anyone says that they are 100 percent, I highly doubt that. You’re going to have swelling and stuff like that.
I train on it, I run with the guys. I try to win every race. I win every race, most of the time.
Q: What can’t you do at this point?
Pryor: I can do everything. I’m kind of taking it easy. I go in the sand pit a lot. I try to stay off the hard ground and ice it when I’m at the house. I don’t feel any pain. Obviously, after I run it’s going to get sore.
Tressel (kidding): He’s got to be faster than he was in the Rose Bowl. I was just watching the Rose Bowl and he got caught on the sideline.
Pryor: I want to play a lot more physical. I’m going to run the show.
Q: You’re going to lower your head a little bit?
Pryor: I just want to play physical.
Tressel: We’re not going to get crazy, though.
Pryor: Obviously, we’re not going to be Tim Tebow-ing it. I’m going to play a lot more physical, think a lot more physical.
My thoughts after the jump.
It may turn out that this knee injury is the best thing that could have happened to Pryor. We’ve seen in the past that college QB’s who rely on their legs to make things happen often have a difficult time moving on to the pros because they lack the pocket passing skills needed to succeed at the next level. Guys like Michael Vick, Vince Young and Tim Tebow are all examples of this.
Pryor is still going to be a physical freak. Even playing with the injury in the Rose Bowl he was one of the fastest players on the field. The injury, however, is forcing the QB to think about what life would be like without his blazing speed and agility. His indication that he will have to play more physical is an acknowledgment that he may not always be able to outrun everyone. He seems to be resigned to the fact that he needs to improve as a passer and a decision maker and that he needs to do it now.
This is going to benefit the Buckeyes and Pryor in the long run. It also shows that Pryor is maturing. His understanding of his physical limitations will enable him to become even more dangerous as he continues to grow as a player.
A more dangerous Terrel Pryor should be very worrisome to the rest of the Big Ten.