Terrelle Pryor saw his opportunity to play quarterback in the NFL slip away with each fleeting repetition.
Before the door came to an official close, Pryor saw another one open.
Though his experience included just a few gadget plays here and there, Pryor saw wide receiver as his fastest path back to a 53-man roster. The Browns, in turn, saw Pryor as a low-risk, potential high reward player who was worthy of a shot in a revamped wide receiving corps that features a number of veterans willing to help him along the way.
"Why not try to use my ability that God gave me?" Pryor asked rhetorically Thursday after his first practice with the Browns. "I came and talked to (general manager Ray Farmer) and (offensive coordinator John DeFilippo) and they were excited and said there were different ways they could use me. We'll see how it goes."
Pryor, who drew cheers from fans whenever he caught a pass, was simply No. 87 at the Browns' first training camp practice of 2015. At 6-foot-4 and 223 pounds, the former Oakland Raiders quarterback "looked good in a uniform," coach Mike Pettine said, and made a few plays with the second- and third-team offense in 11-on-11 drills.
It was Day 1, which saw players wearing helmets, jerseys and shorts, and there's a long road ahead for Pryor. He'll don pads with the rest of his teammates Saturday and learn what it's like to catch passes in traffic.
That facet of the game was the one potential difference-maker highlighted in recent interviews with former NFL wide receiver Joey Galloway and Pryor's new teammates, wide receiver Brian Hartline and safety Donte Whitner. It might just be the tallest task of all in this transition.
"Like Brian and Donte said, it's a tall task. I know that," Pryor said. "Anybody who is competitive, you think that and you have a very tough task and there's something that's so deep and makes you want to do it even harder. I think that's where my mindset is at right now. Asking a lot of questions, being humble, being a sponge and taking in everybody's words. I think if I just keep on going on that, it gives me the best shot possible."
Training camp is underway here in Berea!
Pryor spent the one of the final weeks of his summer break working with former NFL great Randy Moss, Steelers All-Pro Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon. He also caught passes from Browns quarterback Josh McCown, who lauded Pryor for his work ethic while stressing the former quarterback has a lot to learn.
McCown knows from experience. In an emergency situation with the Lions, McCown played a few snaps at wide receiver in 2006.
"Anytime we can add people to help us get to our goal, that is a good thing," McCown said. "So we are glad to have him."
The Browns wide receiving corps promises to be one of the most competitive position groups at training camp. Pettine called it one of the most uncertain, too, because of the arrival of Hartline, Dwayne Bowe and fourth-round pick Vince Mayle coupled with the stability of Andrew Hawkins and promise of Taylor Gabriel.
Pryor said his goal centers on stacking productive practices like Thursday and getting "1 percent better" at his new position each day.
"I just have to put in the extra work and effort and push it forward," Pryor said. "I think we can all obtain our goals. It's the effort and how you go about that task. I'm very happy to be here because these guys in the locker room are phenomenal. It's great chemistry and I love being here."
Friday: Check out ClevelandBrowns.com at 10 a.m. to see a live look-in to Browns training camp.