Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Krunch Time With Katelin: Terrelle Pryor: The Wide Receiver, Not Just The Athlete

By Katelin Marshall, @KatelinKnowsCLE

The Cleveland Browns are 0-3 to start the year. But one of the bright spots so far has the development of Terrelle Pryor "the wide receiver". And its been fantastic to see. Last year the 6'4 Pryor was claimed off waivers from Cincinnati back when he was still a quarterback and its weird to see how things come full circle.

Back in 2011, Browns current head coach Hue Jackson was the head coach in Oakland when Pryor was drafted in the supplemental draft. He was the backup quarterback for Jason Campbell and Carson Palmer. Now its not like Pryor didn't have success as a quarterback. He had a record of 3-7 with nine touchdowns and 12 interceptions in two seasons as a starting quarterback. He also set the record for the longest running touchdown run by a quarterback, with a 93 yard run against Pittsburgh back in 2013. But in 2014 he was traded to Seattle for a seventh round pick and was cut during training camp. Then signed with Kansas City in January of 2015 but was cut four months later.

Last May, when Jackson was the offensive coordinator for the Bengals before coming to Cleveland, Pryor signed with the Bengals during mini-camp. Jackson mentioned to Pryor that playing receiver could prolong his NFL career...and boy was Jackson right.

Now last "football" year Pryor was in the first time he ever played receiver and when he came to the Browns he was behind the eight ball. He was injured most of the preseason and was unfortunately cut before week one of last year. Now I know hindsight is always 20/20 but if only the Browns could have been without Dwayne Bowe and his five catches last year. Pryor could have developed while being in the building and the active roster. He remained unclaimed until December when the Browns picked him back up. Pryor played in three games while starting two. He was targeted eight times but only had one catch, which was for 42 yards.

This season Pryor has become one of the best players on this team and last week against the Dolphins proved it. In his breakout game, Pryor caught eight balls for 144 yards, ran for 21 yards and a touchdown, and was 3/5 passing for 35 yards. Hell he even played a snap on defense. The guy did everything in his power to win that game but we all know how it ended.

This breakout game was so important for Pryor for a few reasons. First off, The Browns needed someone at receiver to step up in the absence of Corey Coleman and Josh Gordon. Second, it proved that Terrelle Pryor, the athlete, has a future at receiver. And third, it shows that players trust head coach Hue Jackson. Like I stated before, Jackson was one of the main people to bring up the position change to Pryor.

Entering week four, Pryor has 14 catches for 244 yards and he has an another great opportunity to develop his game against one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL Josh Norman. Now even if he struggles this upcoming week don't think Pryor was a one game wonder. I mean it will only be his sixth career game at wide out, so lets all remain calm. His development will continue even after this week when he goes back to being the number two receiver option with Josh Gordon coming back and when Coleman comes back later on in the year.

I'm not sure when the Browns should start talking contract extension with him, but lets hope his connection with Coach Jackson and the Browns willingness to take a chance on him at wide receiver will keep him in Cleveland for the long term.

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