Cleat Geeks

The Prescience of Pryor

Terrelle Pryor did just about everything for the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, except win the game.

It did take the Miami Dolphins overtime to defeat the Cleveland Browns, but some would say it was simply delaying the inevitable. But, you can’t blame any of the loss on Pryor, unless you ask Pryor that is. Pryor did all he could do to try to will his team to victory, but he was disappointed in himself on one specific play when he said he lost his cool because he thought Byron Maxwell was holding him. Pryor admitted he dropped a ball on third-and-1 with 58 seconds left because he was upset about the previous play. “I let my team down,” he said. “I lost that focus for a second. That’s on me. I can’t let another man discourage me.”

pryorasqbIt is refreshing, and possibly more important that his maturity level has positively progressed as his NFL career has also progressed, that an athlete was dominate on the field, yet they still critique themselves wanting to do better.

You may be saying to yourself, “It was the Browns, I like to watch quality football. What did Pryor do that was so impressive?” Glad you asked.

Pryor started the game at receiver and before the game was over, he caught eight passes for 144 yards. A good day, but you are still not impressed. Hang on. He also lined up 14 times at quarterback, all in the shotgun, ran four times for 21 yards and a touchdown plus he threw five times, completing three. Alright, an above average day. But hang on, his contributions were still not finished. He also spent a play in the secondary, playing deep safety in case the Miami Dolphins tried a Hail Mary at the end of the first half. So, he played 3 different positions, both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, and made positive contributions on both. Next week, I expect to see him return a kick pryoraswrtoo.

“He’s kind of like me,” Jackson said. “He’s a hothead. So I got to tone him down. He wants to get every call from the officials, and they’re not going to do that all the time. You just got to keep playing.”

Pryor finished the Browns’ 30-24 overtime loss to the Dolphins with 200 total yards and one running touchdown. Coach Hue Jackson said he’d never seen a player do as much in one game as Pryor did.”But that’s what I expect him to do,” Jackson said. “I’ve been knowing him for a while, and I know what he’s capable of doing. He’s capable of doing a lot.”

With Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown both out with left shoulder injuries, the Browns started rookie third-round pick Cody Kessler at quarterback. Jackson decided to mix in some Pryor from the shotgun, letting him run the read-option and taking advantage of his running skills. Consequently, the idea that came out of necessity might become a Browns regularity.

His teammates gave him high praise as well. “I can’t say enough about the job Terrelle Pryor did,” receiver Andrew Hawkins said. “He really put the offense on his back when he got the opportunity.”

It should be noted that, Pryor played quarterback at Ohio State where he was very successful, as well as in the NFL for three different teams, but with considerably less success. As a result, he decided to move to receiver. And today approximately one year later, he looks like he’s been playing the position his entire life.pryorinspotlight

As far as individual accomplishments, Pryor did set a few. He became the first NFL player to have at least three passing attempts, three rushing attempts and three receptions in the same game since Billy Kilmer did it for San Francisco in 1964. He was also the first NFL player with 20-plus passing, rushing and receiving yards in the same game since receiver Cecil Shorts did it for Houston in November 2015. And his 144 receiving yards were the most by a Browns player since Josh Gordon totaled 151 at New England on Dec. 18, 2013. Lastly, his 26-yard completion to Gary Barnidge? His first completion since Dec. 29, 2013.

Much was asked of Pryor, and he responded. And then Head Coach Hue Jackson was asked if this would continue. “Whatever we think it takes to help us win a game,” Jackson said.

Pryor even moved spots at receiver after first-round pick Corey Coleman broke his hand in practice on Wednesday. He had been playing at “Z” but moved to “X” after Coleman’s injury.

Why not end with a quote from Pryor himself,”They got to pull me off this damn field,” Pryor said. “I love the game, man. There’s nothing else I’d rather do.”

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