The Pittsburgh Steelers have never drafted a player in the supplemental draft, but Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor very likely could have been the first back in 2011 had the Ohio State product not declined the offer from head coach Mike Tomlin to do just that.
"Mike said, 'Hey, I’ll draft you if you want to play here.' ", said Pryor during his Wednesday conference call with the Pittsburgh media.
According to Pryor, he thought it would be good for him to get far away from home in order to avoid all distractions.
"Me and Tomlin had a talk," said Pryor. "I don’t know what the guys up top were thinking and whether they wanted to pick me or not, but I know Coach Tomlin gave me an opportunity to say if I wanted to or not. I had to say no because, at a young age, I didn’t want to be near home and have distractions around me."
Prior wound up being drafted in the third-round of the supplemental draft by the Raiders, so there is no guarantee the Steelers would have spent that high of pick on him had they even wanted him.
Pryor, who went to high school in Jeannette, PA, was one of five Ohio State players suspended back in December of 2010 for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling championship rings, jerseys and awards. In addition, he was also cited as having received improper benefits from a local tattoo parlor and its owner. As you may remember, current Steelers tackle Mike Adams was one of those other four players suspended. In June of 2011, Pryor decide to enter the supplemental draft instead of continuing his career at Ohio State.
Pryor grew up a Steelers fan and was asked about that during his conference call.
"I remember when I was younger watching LaMar Woodley," said Pryor. "I am a big "Big Ben" fan. Troy Polamalu. Ike Taylor is out there. I can name a bunch of guys. Brett Keisel. There are a lot of guys on that team that I liked to watch. If you really think about it, it’s being blessed, and understanding the blessings you’ve got. It’s surreal in a way that it’s my favorite team and I get to go head-to-head with them."
Pryor was sacked nine times by the Kansas City Chiefs prior to his bye week and he knows the Steelers will be after him this Sunday because he recalled what Tomlin told him back in 2011.
"He [Tomlin] did say, and I’ll remember this, he said, 'When the time comes and we play you, I’m coming after you. I’m blitzing you,' " said Pryor. "So, I remember that and I’ll giggle with him when I see him on the field and I’ll be waiting for it."
Hopefully Pryor won't have the last giggle after the game Sunday.