Joe Podelco / Lantern photographer
The last two days saw two former members of the Ohio State football program make their respective NFL debuts, though both had forgettable outings.
Former OSU coach Jim Tressel debuted in the coaching booth for the Indianapolis Colts in a Sunday Night Football matchup with New Orleans.
Tressel, now a game-day consultant with the Colts, opted to postpone his term of employment until Week 7 of the NFL season due to concerns about current and former OSU players who were suspended in both the NFL and NCAA. In Tressel’s final game coaching the Buckeyes, he led the team to a 31-26 victory against Arkansas in the 2011 Sugar Bowl in the Louisiana Superdome. That game, along with the entire 2010 season, was later vacated by OSU as part of its self-imposed penalties for violating NCAA policies. Tressel resigned from his post with the Buckeyes on May 30.
Tressel returned to the Superdome last night only to see his new team fall to the Saints, 62-7.
The loss dropped the Colts’ 2011 record to 0-7.
On Wednesday, Indianapolis head coach Jim Caldwell said that Tressel will assist in situations when the team might challenge a play.
“I may have a couple of other things for him to do, sort of game day activities, but that’s basically what he’s going to help us with, among other things,” Caldwell said. “I want him to come around and make certain that he gets a feel for how we do things. Practice, preparation and all those kinds of things, so he’ll have a sense of that. The rest of the time it will probably just be towards the weekend, but he’ll be around. (Tressel will) travel with us, obviously.”
Tressel was not made available for comment.
Week 7 also saw former OSU quarterback Terrelle Pryor make his first appearance for the Oakland Raiders.
Pryor, who was slated to miss the first five games of the Buckeyes’ 2011 season, departed the university on June 7 to pursue an NFL career with a year of NCAA eligibility remaining. Pryor and five of his then-OSU teammates were suspended for selling team memorabilia in exchange for improper benefits in the form of tattoos. Despite his off-field problems, Pryor was selected by the Raiders in the third-round of the NFL supplemental draft with the understanding that he would be suspended for the first five games of the NFL season.
During the first quarter of the Raiders’ 28-0 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, the former Buckeye lined up at the wide receiver position before going under center and taking a snap.
Pryor was flagged for a false start penalty on the play and did not return to the game.
The Raiders did not respond to The Lantern’s request for comment regarding Pryor.
Indianapolis will return to action Sunday against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. The Raiders are in the midst of their bye week and will next play the Denver Broncos at home Nov. 6.