- Pat McManamon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Pryor’s attempted move is fraught with challenges and remains a most difficult climb.
But it’s not easy to avoid getting caught up in the intrigue.
If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck … well, Pryor looked like a receiver in his first practice with his new team. This was without pads, and without physical press coverage and without sophisticated defensive approaches. But it was a step.
Afterward, he handled media questions with confidence, aplomb and the right mix of confidence and grace.
There was just something about him, which should have been evident when Pryor spent a good part of his downtime working in Charlotte with Randy Moss, Josh Gordon, Antonio Brown and other NFL receivers, learning the nuances of the position. A guy who is doing something with a shrug doesn’t dedicate himself to that regimen in the middle of summer downtime.
“I think we can all obtain our goals,” Pryor said Wednesday. “It’s the effort and how you go about the task.”
Pryor explained his decision to move from quarterback this way: “Why not try to use the ability that God gave me?”
He said since he left the Raiders as a quarterback, he’s found himself in logjams at quarterback with other teams. Rather than fight that uphill battle, he chose to fight a new one at receiver.
“To be a quarterback in this league and be successful you have to have a lot of reps,” Pryor said. “You have to. There’s not a lot that really separates guys but reps, I think, that experience.”
Pryor decided the chance wasn’t coming.
“I’m not going to keep on pursuing something and then turn 30 years old, 32, and I have no chance,” he said. “Why not use the God-given ability that I have?”
That ability, as he summed it up, is size, good hands and the ability to run away from people as a receiver.
“I don’t think a lot of guys can run with me,” he said.
Cornerback Joe Haden marveled at Pryor’s size and stride, and called his move to receiver “legit.” Quarterback Josh McCown said “the skill set is there.” Fellow receiver Brian Hartline said that Pryor faces a tall task trying to jam years of learning into a six-week time frame,
The notion at first sounded nuts, like a typical scheme by a losing team desperate for playmakers. Now, after seeing Pryor on the field and hearing him and seeing what he’s putting into it, it doesn’t seem nearly as crazy.
It’s still a long shot, but it’s an intriguing one that bears watching.