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Browns Notes: WR Brian Hartline, safety Donte Whitner say it won't be easy for Terrelle Pryor to make switch to receiver

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BEREA -- Brian Hartline said he’s glad to have another Ohio State Buckeye on board in Terrelle Pryor, but isn’t sure his former teammate can make the transition from quarterback to receiver in one preseason.

“I’ve been playing (receiver) since I was probably 16, just like the majority of the guys that are in the NFL, so he’s got to make up years of learning and work in a couple weeks,” Hartline said Wednesday. “So pretty tall task.

“But I’d say he wants to contribute, he wants to be a part of the process and he’ll probably be successful.”

Many eyes will be on Pryor – a former Rose Bowl MVP – this morning when training camp opens. The Browns claimed him off waivers June 22 and he committed to the position change. He’s 26 years old and has spent his college and NFL careers as a quarterback.

“It’s going to be very challenging for him, because this isn’t little league football, this isn’t high school and this isn’t even college,” said strong safety Donte Whitner, another former Buckeye. “This is the top of our profession. You have defensive backs out there, especially the guys that we’re going to put out here on the football field, we’re not going to make it easy for him. So if you’re going to go out here and you’re going to make plays, you’re going to have to do it on some of the best guys that we feel are in the National Football.

“Coming out of high school he was a dual threat, played all types of positions, so it’s just going to be exciting to see what he can do. We’re not going to make it easy on him, not one bit, so if you see him make a play out here, he earned it.”

Pryor is listed as 6-foot-4, 223 pounds. He also has sprinter speed, which quarterback Josh McCown witnessed in workouts last week in North Carolina.

“He’s a big ol’ tall athlete and guy that can run and all of those things, so he’s gotten to make the transition,” McCown said. “I thought he caught the ball well. The routes is something that’s going to be fine-tuning for him throughout this whole process because he’s just not been doing it.

“But the things he has that you can’t coach are just the height, weight, speed. He’s 6-5-plus and he runs in the low-4.4s or 4.3s -- I don’t know what he runs, but I know he’s really, really fast. A long-strider that was chewing up ground when we were throwing, so he has that going for him and you hope that with those things that you can’t coach, maybe we can coach him up on the other things. I know he’ll jump right in with the group and compete and work hard and see what happens.”

McCown is impressed by Pryor’s willingness to attempt the switch at this stage in his career.

“I think that would be tough if you played one position your whole life, but what it shows is there’s a desire to play the game and he loves football,” McCown said.

JOB HUNTING

Cornerback Tramon Williams sees himself in a competition with Justin Gilbert for the second starting spot, and the veteran isn’t backing down, even though he’s willing to give advice to Gilbert.

“It’s one thing I never ran from, I never ran from competition,” said Williams, 32. “I can help a guy because if I win the spot I want to win it with the guy being at his best. But at the end of the day we’re looking to help each other.”

Is he confident he will keep the starting job over Gilbert, the No. 8 pick last year.

“I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t confident,” Williams said. “I always have that hunger behind me. Me and Justin are gonna make each other better at the end of the day. And we’re gonna need each and every guy in here.”

NO I IN JOSH

McCown took all the first-team repetitions in offseason practices, will continue at the start of training camp and is expected to keep the starting job. He said his approach to camp didn’t change at all after Pettine on Monday wouldn’t guarantee he’d be the starter Week 1 against the Jets.

“I’m just going to play where they put me,” McCown said. “My expectations are through the spring I took all the one reps and it’ll be the same thing, and so I’ll take those. I understand a year ago where they picked Johnny (Manziel), in the first round, so there’s expectations that at some point he may play.

“My expectations is if you’re the guy and if you’re the starter, go out and play good football and help this team win football games. And if you’re not, help the guy that’s in there doing that. That’s really how I approach it. Doesn’t really factor in either way for me. I just do my job day in, day out.”

HELLO, COLUMBUS

This could be the last training camp held in Berea. The Browns have explored a move to Columbus, and Pettine favors moving practice off-site after experiencing it as an assistant with the Ravens, Jets and Bills.

“I like to compartmentalize the year. It’s just tough to be on your same fields and your same meeting room and everything’s the same,” he said. “Physically being away helps the players, it signals a change in atmosphere. I like that because it helps at night when there’s nothing else to do, you’re building a team, its camaraderie, guys are doing stuff together.

“Then you are giving an opportunity for another area to come see you.”

BUSINESS TIME

Whitner was one of the loudest critics of Manziel and Gilbert as last season wound to a close.

“That won’t be a distraction this year,” he said. “Last year, both of those guys being first-round picks, coming in having heavy expectations, having to deal with some demons that they had going on the personal side of things made it very difficult for them, made it very difficult for our football team.

“After having a year of being chastised by not only the media, but the coaching staff and even the players in your own locker room, I think that they finally do get it. They realize the seriousness of this thing. You don’t get much time to develop in the National Football League, especially a first-round pick, and it’s time to help us win now. There’s no more talking about that. We don’t foresee any more of those problems, and if we do, then some guys probably just won’t be here.”

EXTRA POINTS

Pettine said defensive lineman Phil Taylor and defensive end/outside linebacker Armonty Bryant wouldn’t run the conditioning test, which was held Wednesday in the stifling afternoon heat. Both are on their way back from knee surgeries and will be limited early in camp.

The Browns didn’t release the results of the conditioning test.

** Pettine said it’s “highly unlikely” seventh-round rookie cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu will be available this season as he recovers from knee surgery. The team expects to make a decision on rookie sixth-round tight end Randall Telfer (foot) at midseason.

Both are on the injured list.

** Undrafted rookie defensive back Landon Feichter (5-11, 201 pounds) was re-signed, putting the roster at the maximum of 90 players. He originally signed with the Browns on May 11 after trying out in rookie minicamp and was waived June 22.

** Today’s schedule: 9:30 a.m.-noon.



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