May 26, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Terrelle Pryor (3) during OTAs at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
The Browns made headlines when they claimed former quarterback Terrelle Pryor off of waivers with the intent of accommodating Pryor’s wishes to now become a wide receiver.
Because Pryor played at Ohio State, many Browns fans have mistakenly decided that, of course, Pryor can make the transition to the position at the game’s highest level despite never having played wide receiver. The only thing that matters is that he is a former Buckeye, so let’s not quibble over details, shall we?
But the details are important and, luckily, the coaching staff is paid to quibble about them.
The one example that we’ve seen repeatedly to support Pryor is former Browns’ player Josh Cribbs. But while Cribbs probably got more out of his talent than anyone who has suited up for the Browns since the team returned to the NFL in 1999, the comparison falls apart once you get past both players being college quarterbacks.
“I don’t know how to catch. I don’t know how to run the ball as a running back. I’ve been a quarterback my whole life.” – Terrelle Pryor
Cribbs worked on becoming an NFL receiver from the moment he entered the league and it wasn’t until his fifth season that he saw the field on a consistent basis at the position. His best season came in 2011 – his seventh in the league — and even then he only caught 41 passes for 518 yards.
Pryor is trying to make the position switch at the age of 27, so even if he follows Cribbs’ career path (and there is no reason to think Pryor’s ceiling is any higher than Cribbs’), he’l be 34 by the time he figures things out.
Take geography out of the equation — does that really sound like plan that is going to work out?
And let’s not even get started on the notion that the Browns have secretly brought in Pryor to compete for the backup quarterback position.
As for the rest of the players, Marlon Moore made his presence felt on special teams last season, so that looks to be his best avenue to a roster spot this year, and rookie Shane Wynn is intriguing enough (and fits in, size-wise, with Hawkins, Gabriel and Benjamin) that he could be in contention for a spot on the team’s practice squad.
Other than that, the odds don’t favor anyone else on the list.
Next: What Does It All Mean?