Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns Terrelle Pryor Robert Turbin NFL

Mike Pettine explains the move to release Terrelle Pryor and sign injured running back Robert Turbin

BEREA—Less than 24 hours after the Browns released Terrelle Pryor, Mike Pettine was asked to explain the reasoning behind the move to add running back Robert Turbin at the expense of Pryor.

Pettine said that Pryor was ranked as the 53rd player on the Browns roster and he likely would’ve not been active for Sunday’s opener with the Jets.

“You can only have 46 active,” Pettine said. 

He also admitted the signing of Austin Davis last week indirectly affected Pryor, because they wanted to have a third quarterback, whether adding one to the practice squad. Pryor was the emergency quarterback until Davis was added.

Pettine admitted there was a lot of debate at the final roster cuts concerning Pryor.

“Terrelle was a guy that we held on to as the 53rd roster spot and there was a lot of debate over it,” Pettine said. “Terrelle certainly has the ability to make the transition to receiver and we were hopeful that we were going to have time to do it. to me, that was viewed at as a luxury and with our circumstances in our running back room, and have always been a Robert Turbin fan, admiring how he plays and the mentality he takes to the field, it was an opportunity we felt couldn’t pass up.”

Turbin suffered a high ankle sprain on Aug. 29 and might not be able to play for some time, but Pettine said the Browns felt they couldn’t pass the opportunity up. 

“We understand that (Turbin) won’t be available for upwards of a month, but that something we were willing to deal with,” he said. “A lot of this league is about timing 

 and we knew other teams were interested.”

Pettine said the chance to claim Turbin on waivers was more appealing to the Browns than to try and compete with other teams for his services.

Pettine said that there’s a lot about Turbin that he likes, including his veteran leadership.

“He’s downhill when you watch him play,” he said. “He’s physical and plays with an attitude. Going against him as a coordinator and (running backs coach) Wilbert (Montgomery) thought very highly of him. It was a move that was best for us.”

Pettine said that before Ray Farmer began his suspension, the move to get Turbin was on the list, if he became available.

“Before Ray left (on suspension), we discussed kind of spitballed a lot of scenarios and (signing Turbin) was one of them.”

Pettine said he thinks Pryor has a lot of potential as a wide receiver, but just felt the Browns couldn’t let it play out now.

“Will Terrelle Pryor be successful in the NFL as a wide out?” Pettine said. “There’s a pretty good chance of that, but given the timing for us, it just wasn’t right.”

Pettine left the door open that Pryor could return.

“I had a very positive conversation with Terrelle and I’ll leave it at that.”

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