Well, perhaps not everyone. The supremely confident Pryor seemed to expect this leap all along. And so did Tom House.
Most people who know the name recognize House as a baseball pitcher. He played eight years with the Braves, Red Sox and Mariners, mostly as a reliever, and is probably best remembered for catching Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th home run while in the bullpen for Atlanta on April 8, 1974, and running to home plate to deliver the ball to Aaron.
Since retiring as a player, House had reinvented himself as a coach. He was a pitching coach for several pro teams, and for many years at his alma mater, USC. But he also works with tennis players, golfers and quarterbacks, any athlete who uses what House refers to as "rotational movement skills."
House has become almost a mythic figure among quarterbacks. He has worked with Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Alex Smith, among many others, and last offseason he tutored Pryor.
The relationship began, as it always does for House, with a motion analysis. He films each quarterback he works with and then sits down with them to review the tape at 1,000 frames per second. The breakdown reveals mechanical flaws invisible to the human eye, which, according to House, sees about 32 frames per second.
House declined to divulge much of what he observed in Pryor's delivery, but did offer one example.
"I can say this: For every 1 inch of inappropriate head movement, it costs you a couple inches of release point," House said. "His head was moving inappropriately about 8 inches. ... He had arm strength, he had foot speed, he had great coordination. He just had a couple things that were keeping him from being accurate."
Pryor explained during training camp in July that he was leaving his chest open as he threw, disrupting his motion.
"So when I was coming down to throw with my left arm, my right arm was saying it's time to go," he said. "The timing wasn't right."
House and his assistant — Adam Dedeaux, grandson of House's mentor and college baseball coach, the legendary Rod Dedeaux — got to work with Pryor. They were on the USC baseball field for 3?-4 hours a day, six days a week for about 10 weeks, endlessly refining Pryor's throwing motion.
"It takes about a thousand reps to overcome a bad habit, and about 10,000 reps before it becomes autonomic, where he doesn't have to think about it," House said. "What I'm most proud of, Terrelle got his 10,000 reps in, in the couple months he was with us. He worked his butt off."
Dedeaux, a former quarterback, worked with Pryor on his footwork — three-, five- and seven-step drops, and throwing on the run. House's focus is much narrower.
"I'm interested in when the back foot plants and the body starts moving forward," House said. "What happens with weight shift, what happens when weight shift delivers energy to the body, what happens when the body gets the energy into the arm, the hand and the ball."
By the time Pryor showed up for training camp in Napa in late July, he was by all accounts a more accurate passer.
"Oh, man. Ask Coach Flip. The first throw I made in practice was across the field, like a 15-yard dagger," Pryor said. "It kind of like woke everybody up — whoa. It's kind of sweet. Feels good. First play of camp, my first rep, I threw a dagger. And I just kept on getting better and better."