CLEVELAND -- Former Ohio State Buckeyes/Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor attempted to make a position change to wide receiver during training camp last season, and initially, made the 53-man roster despite being injured for most of the practices.
But now that he is healthy, Pryor is making a positive impression on Hue Jackson and the Browns’ coaching staff.
“He’s done an outstanding job,” Jackson said following the Orange and Brown Scrimmage at Ohio Stadium. “Terrelle has done a great job. He’ll continue to do it and he needs to continue to keep getting better.”
In front of 42,310 fans at Ohio Stadium, the first-team offense was able to move the ball, and despite playing without first-round pick Corey Coleman, Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III utilized his skills in getting the team into the end zone.
And on one of those trips to the end zone, it was Pryor who out-jumped a defensive back and hauled in the touchdown from Griffin.
Since that scrimmage, Pryor has turned five catches into Browns-best 122 yards and one touchdown in three preseason games.
“He’s done a tremendous job,” Jackson said. “There are a lot of guys that I can say that about, but he’s definitely one. He has taken this opportunity and he is trying to make the most of it. Remember, I drafted him with (late Raiders Owner) Al Davis when he came out to Oakland. He couldn’t do any football for six weeks, and he wanted to be a quarterback. That is what he really believed he was.
“I’ll never forget last year when he was with me in Cincinnati for a little while and wanted to be a quarterback. I didn’t have enough confidence to ask him to change positions at that time, and that’s why we let him go to be honest with you because I felt like he needed to make a decision about what he needed to do.
“He has a close friend of mine named Craig Austin. I said, ‘Tell him that maybe he needs to play receiver and do it full time.’ He made that decision, and he has never looked back. I think we see the fruit of his hard work. That’s what it is. He’s worked extremely hard, and that’s what you see.”
Although Pryor made the roster coming out of training camp last year, the Browns waived him just three days before the regular-season opener at the New York Jets to claim running back Robert Turbin off waivers. Turbin played just a handful of games for the Browns after returning from a high ankle sprain.
Upon returning to the Browns late in the regular season, the 6-foot-4, 223-pound Pryor caught one pass for 42 yards in the 28-12 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the final game of the year.
“He’s a big guy, physical,” Griffin said. “He’s got an elite trait that you can’t coach, and that’s size. He’s been able to utilize that while he’s been in camp and in the spring. We love the progress that he’s made.”