Wednesday, October 21, 2009

REITZ NEEDS TO STICK TO BACKYARD FOOTBALL IN JEANNETTE

Ray Reitz

Terrelle Pryor's high school football coach, Ray Reitz, spoke to ESPN's Joe Schad and gave his take on why his former quarterback is struggling in his sophomore season at Ohio State.

Reitz, who was the head coach at Jeannette High School in Pennsylvania, when Pryor was a player there, told Schad that "they need Terrelle to run more. They've put the reins on him and they need to let him go free. When I watch Terrelle play right now, I see a robot."

The prep coach also stated that Michigan would've been a better place for Pryor to succeed.

"There is no question that Rich Rodriguez's offense, for example, would be more apt to suit Terrelle's skills," Reitz said. "But Ohio State sold him on the idea that they would prepare him for the NFL and that they don't run 'zone-read' in the NFL."

Pryor would be better off at Michigan? Hogwash!

Terrelle Pryor said when he signed at Ohio State that his goal was to become an NFL quarterback, and that he wanted to go to a place where he would be developed into such.

Ohio State has a quarterback consultant in Joe Daniels, who has a track record of developing quarterbacks for the next level. Don't believe me, just drive to Canton and you'll see one of his pupil's busts there (Dan Marino).

Rodriguez has developed ... well ... no one. Sorry Pat White, but ...

Of course, Pryor's transformation into that pro-style role is coming along slowly — and the main reason is Reitz himself.

Look, Reitz is a high school coach, and with all due respect, most prep coaches are interested in one thing and one thing only — winning. Reitz didn't care about developing Pryor as a passer — and to be honest, I don't think he would know how to. Reitz just drew up plays that would allow Pryor — who was head and shoulders above their competition — to run past the defense for easy scores.

There's no problem with that, Reitz was paid to win games at Jeannette. But, spare us all on the developmental advice on quarterbacking, because he has about as much experience molding players into quality quarterbacks as Jessica Simpson does.

It takes time to develop into a pro-style passer, and even more time when you never had any experience whatsoever doing so.

As former Ohio State all-American LeCharles Bentley said, "They play backyard football over in Jeannette."

Couldn't have said it better myself. Just check out YouTube for all of Pryor's high school highlights and you'll see what kind of quarterback schooling he had coming up. I wouldn't be surprised if Jeannette's playbook was written on toilet tissue.

The truth is, Pryor is getting schooled on how to become a pro-style quarterback at Ohio State. He's just going through an adjustment period, that's all. I mean, he is only a sophomore for crying out loud, with zero experience running such an offense.

Give the kid some time to break through this. He has all of the abilities to do so and his work ethic, from my point of view, seems right where it needs to be.

As for Tressel trying to sell something to Pryor? Tressel was correct in telling him that "they don't run zone-read in the NFL." That's not selling something to a player, Coach Reitz — that's telling him the truth.

"I came here to be a quarterback," Pryor said Wednesday. "I don't know why (Reitz) would say something like that.

"I wouldn't trade where I'm at right now."

Tressel is allowing Pryor to work through his struggles, and in the long run, it will be the best thing for him. The best NFL quarterbacks had to grind their way through college, not "run" away from the problem.

Of course, I wouldn't expect a "backyard football" coach to understand that.