Sunday, August 16, 2015

Pryor prediction time 

Brash prediction: Terrelle Pryor will make the Browns’ final roster. Book it.

Why? How?

He hasn’t done anything up to now except watch others in training camp and the first exhibition game due to a pulled hamstring muscle. He hasn’t given the coaching staff any plausible reason to make him one of the final 53.

So why and how is he going to wind up on that sheet?

Simple. He’s a quarterback. Arguably the second-best quarterback on the team behind Josh McCown. More on that later.

But isn’t he listed as a wide receiver? Sort of. For some reason, the club has curiously chosen to list the former Ohio State quarterback thusly: QB/WR.

Kind of makes one go hmmmm.

Because there are only three exhibitions left and the learning curve for Pryor is dramatically shorter, there is no way he can prove to the coaches he can make a successful transition to wideout.

Unless he’s superhuman, that’s way too short a period to catch the attention of – and then wow – position coach Joker Phillips and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. That’s not going to happen.

He’s too inexperienced right now to help out what is the one of the weakest wide receivers corps in the National Football League. So why not just cut him?

Because if McCown is either injured or performs so poorly Mike Pettine has no recourse but to bench him, who moves in as the starter? Johnny Manziel? That’s who probably would be next man up. But what if he stumbles? Or gets hurt?

Pryor is not a neophyte when it comes to starting an NFL game. He has 10 starts as a quarterback (all with Oakland). He’s much more athletic than Manziel, has a much stronger arm and is familiar with the DeFilippo offense. 

In no way is this meant as an endorsement of Pryor to be yet another in the seemingly never-ending list of quarterbacks for a franchise well beyond hungry for a difference maker at the position. It is merely a prediction that he will make the final roster.

If nothing else, it also gives the club flexibility. He can be a backup quarterback – better certainly than Connor Shaw and Thad Lewis – and a backup wide receiver.

How many repetitions he gets during the week – and where he gets them – is entirely up to Pettine and DeFilippo. Think of the many gimmick plays the new offensive coordinator can come up with.

As foolish as this seems, such a move allows the Browns to give Pryor more time to make the transition to wide receiver and, at the same time, be a safety valve in the event McCown and/or Manziel fail.

Pettine maintains Pryor “is not guaranteed a spot” on the final roster, “but I also wouldn’t write him off. . . . We are certainly not going to just hand him a spot based on potential. He’s got to show us, but what he has showed us so far has been encouraging.”

Pettine talking out of both sides of his mouth is one more reason to expect Pryor to be one of the final 53 when the final cutdown is made in just a few weeks.

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