Seattle Seahawks Should Consider Terrelle Pryor at Tight End

Terrelle Pryor Seattle Seahawks Tight End

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Nearly four months ago, the Seattle Seahawks acquired Terrelle Pryor from the Oakland Raiders for a seventh-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, which the Raiders used on current third-string safety Jonathan Dowling. A fairly low-risk trade, the Seahawks brought Pryor in to compete with Tarvaris Jackson for the backup quarterback spot behind Russell Wilson.

Despite speculation that Pete Carroll would possibly use Pryor as a receiver, the head coach has been rather adamant from the beginning that Pryor is strictly in Seattle to play quarterback. While Seahawks fans should trust Carroll and the coaching staff, they should also wonder if Pryor could be better utilized at a different position: tight end.

Two weeks ago, tight end Anthony McCoy was placed on injured reserve (IR) for the second consecutive season after tearing his Achilles tendon. Suddenly, the trio-threat of McCoy, Zach Miller and Luke Willson was broken.

At 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, McCoy was supposed to be the athletic, pass-catching tight end primed for a breakout season in this offense. With him on IR, Cooper Helfet – who has spent the past two seasons on the Seahawks’ practice squad — has been filling in as Seattle’s third tight end. Helfet had a solid game last week against the Denver Broncos and caught one pass for 20 yards. He is a sure-handed option, and there’s nothing that stands out as a big weakness in his game. But one has to be intrigued about the possibilities of having Pryor’s 6-foot-4 frame and 4.38-speed running seam routes down the middle of the field. That is a matchup nightmare for any defense.

Pryor has an impressive resume as a quarterback, but all of it came from before or during his college days at Ohio State University. Since he entered the NFL in 2011, he has yet to prove himself a capable professional quarterback. He was so effective in high school and college because he could rely on his athletic ability to create plays with his feet. But the NFL is a different animal.

To be a successful quarterback, you need to be able to throw an accurate ball from the pocket. You need to go through all your reads. You need to make sound decisions. Pryor has not been able to do any of those things consistently. Sure, he is competing to be a backup quarterback for the defending Super Bowl champions, but almost any Seattle fan will tell you that Jackson will win the job. Fourth-stringer B.J. Daniels has even impressed and shown improvement throughout training camp. In other words, the Seahawks are fine at quarterback without Pryor in the mix, and chances are the Seahawks could end up cutting him before the season begins in three weeks.

However, rather than releasing Pryor,  it would be wise for the coaching staff to harness his unique blend of size and speed and place him at a position where he can really excel. Besides, the Seahawks are all about competition, right?

Coach Carroll is well-known for getting the best out of his players. As the middle of the preseason approaches, Seattle’s coach should consider going back on his word to keep Pryor at quarterback for the team’s benefit as well as Pryor’s. Whether or not it pans out, it’s worth experimenting with an athletic and gifted football player like Pryor. With McCoy out for the year, it’s a low-risk decision with tremendous upside. It could be the next “genius-move” by Carroll.

Connor Frederickson is a Seattle Seahawks Writer for Follow him on Twitter @cfredrun or add him to your network on Google

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  • friendship220

    Pryor has the athleticism to play TE, or WR or RB or QB. He could play special teams, he could be an edge rusher on defense. Pryor and Wilson in the backfield at the same time, with either able to throw the ball or run the ball would add explosiveness to the offense.

    However, Pryor won games as a QB with the Raiders last year. The guy they kept didn’t, and it remains to be seen whether the guys he was replaced by can do as good a job. Pryor was a good QB last year. Great at running, not as good at passing, but the combination led to wins, with the Raiders, over the teams that didn’t make the playoffs. With Pryor, the Seahawks have a QB who would likely beat the non-playoff teams and probably most of the playoff teams as well. The rest of the Seahawks 2014 roster is better than the rest of the Raiders 2013 roster, right? And Wilson is the starter.

    • Connor Frederickson

      I still think Tarvaris would give the Seahawks a better shot or at least an equally good shot at winning. Pryor is really intriguing, though, and the Seahawks should keep him around.

      • friendship220

        Tarvaris, in some situations, might give the Seahawks a better chance of winning, but in others, definitely not. Pryor brings extra, enough to win the Super Bowl. Not that that would happen, but the chance that it could is greater with Pryor than Jackson. And Wilson is the starter without question.

  • Sajjad Khan

    He is a bigger, faster, and better version of russell wilson. he just hasn’t had the support or system to thrive in like russell did. let him loose, don’t be reserved, he is unstoppable.

    • Connor Frederickson

      I don’t think you can honestly say that Pryor is a better quarterback than Russell Wilson. Wilson just won a Super Bowl. Pryor couldn’t keep a starting job. Pryor is a better athlete than Wilson, though.

      • Sajjad Khan

        Seattle has a capable and good reserve QB. NFL coaches and management who are any good aren’t going to commit this much time and effort in making sure they have another good insurance policy. Doubling down on insurance is a terrible waste of salary cap money. So why would Seattle spend this much time looking at him. His style is similar to Russell, he is bigger, he is faster, all things equal he came out of college way better than Russell even after being thrown out a year early. What did Russell have that he did not over the past few years, a supportive system that features his strengths, a much better line, a much better coaching staff, way better receivers and running backs, a better atmosphere in general. Pete Carroll et al are looking at him to see if he is starter material not if he backup material. Carroll isn’t winning championships because he has great reserves sitting on the bench. And he isn’t going to stay ahead of the league by making sure he has good reserves.

        This is by no means an indictment of Wilson, he is good, but Terrelle under the same circumstances could be better. IMO, he would be better.

        • Connor Frederickson

          I don’t know about that. You’re entitled to your own opinion, of course. But Wilson the QB of this football team. End of story.

        • Connor Frederickson

          Carroll brings in talent to make this football team better. Pryor could make this team better in a few ways, but being a starting quarterback is not one of them.

          • friendship220

            Not better than Wilson, but more likely than anyone else to win the Super Bowl. A handful of plays with Pryor, adding that additional weapon, might be nice, but he’s a QB, he shouldn’t be learning all he needs to learn to be a regular position player.

        • friendship220

          Pryor isn’t getting paid a lot of money. He can sit on the bench just fine. In theory Pryor could be better than Wilson. But you just can’t argue with just won a Super Bowl. All the Seahawks QBs right now have some merit, would be nice to keep them all. Pryor could benefit from learning from competent people. He was just in Oakland, where there’s a real shortage of competence.

      • friendship220

        Pryor got hurt. He lost the starting job due to injury. He played on a sprained MCL against the Giants. That said, Wilson just won a Super Bowl. Nuff said.

  • Paul Peach

    Thus guy is an idiot. Pryor is a QUARTERBACK and has said so. Give him time to learn the offense and watch.

    • Connor Frederickson

      You’re right, he probably will stay a quarterback, but he’s so athletic that it’s worth exploring other positions in order to get him the ball more often than in a backup quarterback role. Whether it happens or not is another question entirely.

  • Connor Frederickson

    Thanks for the feedback, guys! I just have a hard time believing that Pryor can be an NFL-caliber starter. But he IS an NFL-caliber athlete. All I’m saying is it’s worth exploring, I’m not saying it’s going to happen.

  • Perry Andrew Piercy

    I don’t believe Pryor has a legitimate chance of getting much playing
    time as a QB in Seattle. Pryor is bigger, stronger, faster & even
    more athletic than Russell Wilson, but the comparison stops there. Pryor
    is not even close to the passer or leader that Wilson is. I have a hard
    time believing anyone could say he is a better quarterback than Wilson.
    Not in college, and definitely not in the NFL. With Wilson’s work ethic
    I don’t see anyway Pryor has a shot at unseating him anytime in the

    Wilson doesn’t miss very many plays, as evidenced by
    Tarvaris Jackson’s (TJack) 13 passing attempts and 4 rushing attempts
    last year. TJack threw for one touchdown and rushed for another. TJack
    is a very reliable backup, if not one of the very best backups in the
    NFL. He knows the system and the coaches are confident in his abilities.
    He has played as a starter for offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell in
    Seattle and Minnesota. He has started 34 games and If he didn’t have the
    unfortunate luck of playing with Favre & Wilson, he could have
    started over 100 games by now. He threw for over 3,000 yards in 2011
    with the Seahawks on a much less talented team while playing injured for
    a good part of the year. He is a proven commodity. If Wilson goes down
    TJack can take this team to the playoffs.

    If Pryor wants to play
    for the Seahawks I think that the writer makes a very good argument for
    changing positions. As a fan I would love to see the Seahawks find a way
    to get him on the field, just not at quarterback.

    • JaytotheJay Anderson

      They should move him to Receiver.

      • Connor Frederickson

        I like the idea of moving him to receiver, but there’s too much competition at that position. That’s why I made the argument for tight end because there is less and depth there. But, yes, ideally he would be a receiver.

    • friendship220

      Is anybody seriously talking about Wilson v Pryor? I’m a big Pryor fan, but Wilson just won a Super Bowl. The question is what happens if Wilson gets hurt. You seem to arguing that Wilson can’t get hurt. But he can, and what happens then? Then the question is how long is Wilson out for? If he’s just out for the rest of the game that the Seahawks are winning by 2 TDs, you might want Jackson. The Seahawks D is strong enough to preserve the victory. But if Wilson is somehow out of the season, I think Pryor gives you a better chance to win the Super Bowl. Seattle has smart coaches and would be able to maximize what Pryor brings to the table. Since Seattle is already a big running team, adding Pryor to the mix would just make things that much more difficult for the defenses. And Seattles defense would remain strong.

  • JaytotheJay Anderson

    Move him to Receiver

  • KWS13

    Pryor was asked about this at one point and he said he couldn’t because he can’t catch