Browns, Headlines

Brian Hartline says Terrelle Pryor is a “flash in the pan”

Terrelle Pryor Cleveland Browns Touchdown

With the regular season winding down and the Cleveland Browns just two losses away from going a perfect (imperfect?) 0-16 (0-20 if you count preseason), one of the biggest questions heading into the off-season — outside of the NFL Draft — is if the team will re-sign wide receiver Terrelle Pryor.

While many fans may want the former Ohio State Buckeye back in brown and orange for 2017 and beyond, a former teammate of Pryor, both at Ohio State and with the Browns, doesn’t believe that the team should re-sign him.

Here’s what Brian Hartline said on Columbus, Ohio’s 105.7 The Zone, per ohio.com’s Nate Ulrich:

“So I’m very apprehensive as a Cleveland Browns guy to give out a contract. Listen, you had one year. You’re a flash in the pan. You’re trying to tell me with a guy that had suspect personality characteristics, I’m going to go ahead and hand you a bunch of money but you’re going to work harder? Uh, I think I’m going to bet against that if I’m a betting man.”

The wideout, who was released by the Browns prior to the season, seems to have some beef with his former teammate, whether it be when the two were in Columbus or in Cleveland together. Head coach Hue Jackson has referred to his top receiver as a building block for years to come, but Hartline doesn’t think he’s anywhere close to that. In fact, he doesn’t even think he’s a No. 1 wide receiver in the league, whether it be due to his off the field antics, difficulty running routes, or his inconsistency at times. With just one year under his belt at receiver, Hartline thinks he may just be a player that is good at times, but not all the time.

“If I’m building a team, what is [Pryor]? Is he my No. 1? God, I hope not because let’s put it this way: For me, I want a guy day in and day out I know what I’m getting. You don’t know what you’re going to get. You don’t know who’s going to show up. You don’t know if he’s going to get in trouble. You don’t know if he’s going to smart off. I need stability. That’s so more important to me. I need a guy that runs routes. I need stability. I need constant production. Is he a No. 2? OK, yeah. I mean maybe. He kind of disappeared the last couple weeks.”

In his first full season as a receiver, the 27-year-old leads the team with 67 catches (124 targets), 877 yards, and four touchdowns. Pryor has also played quarterback (5-for-9, 41 yards) and has ran the ball as well (eight carries, 21 yards, one touchdown). Outside of being on the offensive line, the 6-foot-6, 240-pound wideout really has done it all for the Browns’ offense. Hartline admitted that he’s being productive, but doesn’t think that TP has been dominant whatsoever, which is the main reason why he doesn’t want Pryor back with the Browns in 2017.

“He’s being productive. At no point is he being dominant. He’s doing more than we thought, and that’s the reaction. I wish him well. And by the way, as a Cleveland Browns fan, guys, hey, alert everybody, it’s OK to let guys go and let them be successful elsewhere as long as they don’t fit your mold. Just have a plan. If they don’t fit your plan, let them go and wish them well. It’s OK. It’s not a big deal, but you better have a response. You better have a guy to fill that void. So for me, I’m not paying a guy off of one year. I’m wishing him well, and I’m going to go ahead and go build something else because I’m not sure Terrelle Pryor is a building block.”

Although he has done well all season, Pryor has struggled over the last two games with quarterback Robert Griffin III back under center. In the last two weeks, he has just five catches (nine targets) for 22 yards, including just one reception for three yards in Week 14. Even with his struggles the last two weeks, head coach Hue Jackson believes he can always count on No. 11—”I have a tremendous amount of confidence,” he said earlier this week. Due to the fact that this is his first full season as a wide out, Jackson believes Pryor is only going to get better with more experience.

The beef Hartline has with Pryor is definitely interesting and something to keep an eye on moving forward. At Ohio State, many believed Hartline declared for the NFL Draft a year early as to not be a part of the Pryor-led offense. Last season, Hartline (along with Donte Whitner) went to bat for Josh Lenz when he did not make the 53-man roster over Pryor.

Whether it’s just that the former Brown doesn’t like his ex-teammate or something else, Hartline’s opinions seem to all lead to him not wanting his hometown team to re-sign Pryor and bring him back to the shores of Lake Erie. The team reportedly had contract talks with the receiver back in October. If they were to franchise him for 2017, it would cost roughly $15 million for one season.

  • Sam Gold

    Sounds like Brian’s having a little trouble letting go of the past.

  • maxfnmloans

    The only thing Hartline is correct abot is Pryor is not a #1 WR. And he wont get #1 WR money

    the rest of this is sour grapes, or he (and other ex-Buckeyes) is mad because they’re blaming TP for the fall of Tressel. Probably also a little jealousy as weel b/c Hartline wasnt on a roster this season. And oh yeah, this was on a radio show in Columbus, where most of the fans think Tressel was railroaded, he was done wrong, he got the shaft, etc, and they’d elect him Mayor tomorrow if they could.

    Yeah, go away Brian Hartline. I dont remember you saying you werent worth the money you got paid (and you weren’t).

  • Garry_Owen

    Weird. I was a big Hartline fan (in the NFL, not so much at OSU), but dude really needs to keep quiet. Why do these guys feel at liberty to do this kind of thing? Probably a grudge, or is it just trying to make a name as an “analyst”? If it’s the former, then truly, keep it to yourself. If it’s the latter, there are better ways. (See Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard).

    All of that said, the nearly universal criticism of Pryor by former teammates (particularly Buckeyes teammates) is indeed interesting. Is this just deep devotion to Jim Tressel? An honest dislike of Pryor? Buckeyes looking out for their school (doubt it)? All or a combination of pieces of the above? Whatever the reason, is it something that is going to translate to and permeate through the Browns locker room? If so, maybe it’s better to not sign him. But am I just falling into Hartline’s trap?

  • Captiva

    Pryor is a hood rat. Give him guaranteed money and he will turn into Johnny Manziel overnight.

  • Garry_Owen

    Yes. I think Coleman will prove to be the #1. Pryor will be a solid #2 (which does not sound the way that I meant it to sound.)

    (Though I confess, I’m not really sure what this whole “#1 and #2 WR” thing is really all about. It seems like a whole lot of form lacking any real substance in the modern NFL.)

  • markn95

    I think the market for Pryor will be better than a lot of people think. He converted to WR two years ago and only really got onto an NFL field in that position this year. So there’s room to grow, obviously. And teams with a better QB situation than the Browns (easily at least 28 other franchises in the league) will figure that Pryor’s production will only go up.

  • NankirPhelge

    Well, Hartline knows him a lot better than any of us do, so if Pryor is not a team guy and not a guy who you can count on, Hartline should know it. I don’t think he’s making it up. Why would he? If Pryor’s not like that, it should be easily disprovable. And as you said, other former teammates have criticized Pryor as well. I can’t believe they’re making it up too.

    So just looking at the “evidence” from afar, I put more faith in Hartline’s word than I do in Pryor’s.

  • Garry_Owen

    I hear what you’re saying, but just to be sure: Even though Pryor has been a great teammate and great citizen thus far in Cleveland, you trust Hartline’s words more than what Pryor has shown? I’m not saying you’re wrong for doing so; I’m just not ready to go that far yet.

  • CBiscuit

    re: our WRs…we could only dream of having a solid #2. Instead, just a lot of pieces that stink.

  • Garry_Owen

    And as such, we never get to take the browns to the super bowl.

  • CBiscuit

    Yep. It’s depressing. And people wonder why urine a crappy mood.

  • NankirPhelge

    I don’t think he’s been so great a teammate. He’s gone all diva. He’s ripped the offensive line, he criticized the defense, he’s yelled at Griffin between plays, he goes all drama queen when things aren’t going well on the field (and you might have noticed that things haven’t going well a lot), and he’s criticized the media without knowing what the hell he’s talking about. He’s a head case. Buyer beware.

  • Garry_Owen

    Hmm. I suppose, though I’m not really sure what it means to go diva. The offensive line stinks. The defense stinks. Griffin stinks. The media stinks. If he was wrong, I’d say there might be a diva problem. As it is, he’s been right. Sure, if that’s not what you want on your team, cut him loose. No problem. But that also might be what the team needs. Regardless, I wouldn’t overpay to keep him.

  • NankirPhelge

    I agree with Hartline: He’s a flush in the pan.

  • Garry_Owen

    But that might just be a case of Irritable Brian Syndrome.

  • maxfnmloans

    from my perspective, the delineation is more about contract slotting than on field assignments

  • Garry_Owen

    Ah. Interesting. I’ve never looked at it that way. Makes sense.

  • woofersus

    I don’t know what the personal beef is, but the message is clearly that Pryor isn’t a great locker room guy. Hartline loses some credibility with me, however, when he says Pryor maybe isn’t working hard or that his talent isn’t real, because you don’t become what he has become in this amount of time without putting in some work and having some talent. Even being a little raw still he’s clearly been the most talented guy on our offense in a few games. Hard to blame the drop-off in production the last couple of weeks on him given all the other issues.

    Meybe he isn’t a great locker room guy, but he’s generally said the right things publicly and I like that he shows some “give a damn” out there on the field. He’d have to be a real cancer for me to not be interested.

  • NankirPhelge

    It disturbs me that I love this thread.

  • Harv

    Agree with those wondering why Hartline is opening his trap in such a vicious way.

    But I’m also wary of how a Pryor with guaranteed money will act. When he’s spoiling to tell reporters off, when he’s embarrassing his teammates and coaches by wildly throwing his arms up because the play clock has run out, when he’s calling out teammates … The Browns desperately need talent because they have such trouble drafting, but beware the uber-talented loudmouth in a contract year when he’s not a kid anymore and hasn’t come close to mastering his position.

  • Garry_Owen

    I agree. That said, we really should bear down and start eliminating some of the nonsense.

  • JNeids

    If you delete “(which does not sound the way that I meant it to sound.)” then you can say you were right regardless

  • JNeids
  • tsm

    Agree. Hartline should have keep this opinion to himself, just a mean take. As fro Pryor, I see his antics, and am counting on Hue to sit him down and deal with them if and when they sign him. If Hue indeed is respected, then this will work.

  • JM85

    Why does everyone hate Pryor?

  • tigersbrowns2

    LMFAO !!!

  • BenRM

    Harsh

  • nj0

    And now I’ve got to go listen to Separation Sunday.

  • nj0

    “You’re trying to tell me with a guy that had suspect personality characteristics, I’m going to go ahead and hand you a bunch of money but you’re going to work harder?”

    Is he talking about another Terrelle Pryor? Maybe one that hasn’t had a six year NFL career? Because that one swallowed his pride after failing as a QB and put in the work to become a pretty good WR. He also was a millionaire before he came to Cleveland. If he wanted to call it quits or lacked the proper dedication, he wouldn’t even be where he is. Stop acting like he’s a 21-year-old kid coming out of college.

    “You don’t know what you’re going to get. You don’t know who’s going to show up. You don’t know if he’s going to get in trouble. You don’t know if he’s going to smart off.”

    Again, did I miss something? Were there off field issues with Pryor when he was on the Raiders? I don’t remember any and Google came up empty. His biggest sins all seem related to the frustration of being on an 0-14 team.

    “He kind of disappeared the last couple weeks.”

    Wide receivers tend to do that when RG3 is looking at them.

  • nj0

    If he goes drama queen when things aren’t going well on the field, he would have been a drama queen from day one. Which he wasn’t.

    While I can see the argument that a player should keep some criticisms in the family, I don’t really disagree with the content of any of his remarks. As for criticizing the media, so what? The athlete/reporter relationship is a complex one. I for one understand why players become defensive.

  • nj0

    We choose terrible and quiet over talented but vocal.

  • nj0

    The real question: what does Dwayne Bowe think?

    Honestly, I think Pryor’s reactions haven’t been so out of line considering that we’re 0-14.

  • Garry_Owen

    Precisely!

  • Garry_Owen
  • scripty

    “For me, I want a guy day in and day out I know what I’m getting. You don’t know what you’re going to get. You don’t know who’s going to show up. You don’t know if he’s going to get in trouble.”

    Didn’t Hartline use a # of technicalities to get out of an awful DUI situation down in MIA? Geez

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