“Browns Should Take A Flier On Terrelle Pryor.”

When I saw the headline I thought : “You stop it RIGHT NOW, you damned arsonist!”  I hated the idea instantly for all the obvious reasons.  I figured this was another one of those one-paragraph sillinesses with which I wish the big boys would dispose.

Still, it turns out that James Walker of ESPN makes a persuasive case, with which I just happen to completely disagree.

Let's keep it this way.

Most of Walker’s points are tough to dispute.  The Browns do need McCoy insurance, after all.  The only reasonable position for the organization to take is the one Walker attributes to it.  They’ll let it play out with McCoy in 2011.  He’ll either light it up, get hurt, be mediocre, or completely suck (let’s not play the odds, shall we?).  Either way, they can’t say right now that he’s the guy.  Because he’s not.  He’s Mr. Right Now, with upside.

Walker is also correct that that third QB spot is potentially open.  Delhomme can’t possibly stay on that contract, though I expect them to either restructure him or bring in a similarly crappy veteran (and I still put a highly scienctific 12% possibility on Mr. Heckles & the Shurm making a run at Kevin Kolb).

Credit Walker for not taking the cop-out route with the “hey, he could be a great NFL wideout with that athleticism!” argument.  What a bunch of crap that is.  And the Browns already have a quarterback-turned-wideout/athlete/returner.  Perhaps you’ve heard of Josh Cribbs?  The Browns didn’t even have to draft him.  They’ve already hit the lottery there once.

All in all, fairly reasonable.  But then there’s this one:  Walker suggests that there wouldn’t be pressure to play him, despite Pryor’s big name.  (Taps Walker on the shoulder.) Uh, dude? Do you not remember Charlie Frye and Brady Quinn?  They were small potatoes- this is THE Ohio State.  There was an uproar when they didn’t draft Troy Smith.  TROY SMITH!  Since the days of home-state hero Bernie Kosar, Browns fans have clung desperately to the idea of second coming.  This is a beast I see fit to starve to death.

Then, Walker tells us that Holmgren was disappointed-ish not to be able to take a developmental QB in the late rounds in this year’s draft, with the Browns having decided (no doubt amidst lockout uncertainty) to address other needs.  He quotes Holmgren: “Now, are we finished adding to the quarterback pile? I don’t think so. … I think we are going to try and figure out a way to get another guy in here.” Then, Walker suggests that taking Pryor in the supplemental draft addresses these concerns.

No, as a matter of fact. It doesn’t.  I’m fairly confident the Walrus means they’re going to get another guy in there who could play if they needed him to, and Pryor is not that guy (as all but the payrolled and the intellectually infirm will concede).  I don’t believe for a second anyone in that building, besides maybe himself, is comfortable with Seneca Wallace as a #2.  He knows the West Coast Offense.  Great.  So does Sam Wyche, what say we throw him out there?  Seneca Wallace is so limited, why…he’s like a 3rd-string NFL quarterback.

KEY TAKE-AWAY ALERT: Terrelle Pryor is the solution to none of these problems, but especially that one.  My only reaction to “Pryor As Developmental QB”?  Please.  If they were going to spend a draft pick on a developmental quarterback, how is Pryor anything like the guys Holmgren, Heckert and Shurmer crave- decisive, trained-footwork pocket passers with outstanding short and intermediate accuracy?  I’m here to tell you, Pat Devlin is MUCH closer to what they’re looking for and they didn’t sniff him in the draft.

You want a better comparison to Pryor, you say?  Well, first of all, that’s exactly my point.  But second of all, fine.  How about Cam Newton?  Cam Newton was everything Pryor was supposed to be and more, and he did it in a single year.  Pryor came in more ballyhooed than anybody in recent memory, and has done nothing extraordinary.  Yes, Ohio State has won a ton of games (at a school where you’re expected to win a lot of games).

But, then…they can afford it, can’t they?

The Browns ought to do what Pryor ought to have done.  Say no thank you.


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