Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson has a history with quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Jackson was the head coach for the Oakland Raiders, who used a third-round pick to select Pryor in the 2011 supplemental draft. Rather than face a five-game suspension in college, Pryor entered the draft with a five-game suspension waiting for him in the NFL.
"The guy had a very storied career at Ohio State," Jackson said four years ago after the Raiders drafted Pryor in 2011. "He can throw it, he can run with it. He's smart, he's tough, he's played in big games. He's another young athlete that we'll add to the mix that plays quarterback and we'll work with him and get this guy to be a good player."
Now Pryor is in Cincinnati, vying for a spot spot as a backup quarterback with Jackson now the team's offensive coordinator. Clearly things have changed and Jackson has reflected on how much Pryor has grown since his college days.
Pryor signed a one-year deal worth $660,000 after an impressive performance as an invite during Cincinnati's rookie minicamp. Clearly there is influence from Jackson that convinced Cincinnati to ink Pryor, but not entirely.
"Terrelle has a presence. This is not his first rodeo," head coach Marvin Lewis said during rookie minicamp weekend. "He's been through things, he's been with Hue before, so he has a calmness about him. He's actually a role model for some of these six or seven other veteran players [who are in the minicamp] to watch how a guy who came into the NFL in 2011 is looking to try to get an opportunity -- not even to make the team yet, but to get an opportunity to make the team. And the urgency to his step. That's a good role model for these young guys to observe. He has an urgency that they need to learn, and that goes to show how important this is to him."
Pryor is expected to compete as the team's third-string quarterback with Josh Johnson; AJ McCarron is believed to be the immediate backup behind starting quarterback Andy Dalton heading into Tuesday's OTA sessions.