BEREA,Ohio--It's been less than a year since Terrelle Pryor switched from quarterback to wide receiver, but he said he's well on his way to being a good NFL receiver.
“I don’t even call it a transition anymore," Pryor said. "I feel like I’m there. I already transitioned. It’s just now continuing to get better at my craft and try to be the best I can be and do the things every single day to be the best player – like Coach Al (Saunders) says in our meeting room to all the receivers – ‘to be the best player you can be, better than the players in the room, player in the league, player in the division.’
"Obviously, there are great players around the league," he said. "There are great players in our room. It’s not going to always be like that, but you’ve got to have that mindset that you want to be the best every single day. We go out there like brothers and we go out there and we help each other and make sure we work hard.”
Pryor caught one pass last season in three games, a 42-yard catch in the season finale against the Steelers, but he feels the difference between last year and this year is night and day for him.
“Yeah, definitely," he said. "I think this coaching staff from the defense to the offensive coaches, it’s phenomenal. It’s going awesome. Having a guy like (senior offensive assistant) Al Saunders coaching me and his son, (offensive quality control/assistant wide receivers) Coach Bob (Saunders), obviously Hue (Jackson) – the background of the offensive side of the ball that those guys have, it’s awesome. Every day they come to work. I wake up at 5:45 a.m., and I’m ready to go. It’s exciting. I’m getting better. We all are. I really appreciate the way it’s going right now and continuing to grow.
"I look at the film and it amazes me," Pryor said. "I really give that to coach (Al) Saunders for the time he's spent with me. It's awesome. I do give myself some credit for the work I do day in and day out in the off-season and just my want to.
"It's going awesome."
Pryor is being envisioned as being also used in a similar fashion to how Hue Jackson used Mohamed Sanu in the Bengals offense last season. Pryor is open to that.
"I'll do whatever Hue wants me to do," Pryor said. "Every time I touch the field, practice, game, I'm going to bring high-energy, high effort. I just really want to go beat up on some corners, catch the ball and run past him, stiff arm them, whatever."
With the loss of veteran wide receivers Dwayne Bowe, Brian Hartline and Travis Benjamin this off-season and the addition of four rookie draft picks at the position, Pryor is one of the veteran receivers at the position. Josh Gordon is still serving a suspension, as well.
"I didn't think of that like that," he said smiling, but added. "We still have "Pops (Andrew Hawkins) and Marlon (Moore).
Gilbert Starts Fresh: Defensive coordinator Ray Horton said that DB Justin Gilbert will start with a clean slate with him.
"Everybody has a clean slate, and you go out and work hard," Horton said. "Is he a work in progress? yes. Is he carrying anything from four months ago, not in my book.
"With Justin, he's a talented young man and we have to get the talent out of him and on to the football field."
Gilbert had a good day of practice breaking up a pass in the end zone intended for TE Gary Barnidge on a pass from QB Connor Shaw. Gilbert was the eighth overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Throw Away: QB Robert Griffin III gave a new meaning to throwing the ball away. Griffin III was trying to intentionally throw a pass away during team scrimmage and launched the pass over the approximately 16 foot high fence that surrounds the practice field into the yard of a neighboring condo. On the way, the football clipped several overhanging branches.
On the Side: Several players sat out or were working with the trainers on the side at Wednesday's practice, including DB Joe Haden (foot), WR Taylor Gabriel (foot), TE Seth DeValve (foot), OL Shon Coleman (knee), TE Randall Telfer (undisclosed), DB Don Jones (undisclosed), DL Xavier Cooper (undisclosed) and DL Carl Nassib (leg).