BEREA — Terrelle Pryor believed when not many people did.
After making the switch from quarterback after four years in the NFL, Pryor was confident he would become a starting receiver. His faith will be rewarded Sunday in Philadelphia as he opens the year as a key member of the first-team offense.
“I’m a visionary guy. I envisioned myself doing this,” he said Thursday. “I envisioned myself doing it last year, but I had a little injury.
“I saw this day and I’m happy and I can’t wait to go and play with my teammates. I’m excited.”
Pryor, 27, made the move to wideout before last season, was cut Week 1 and returned in December. He played three games with two starts and caught one pass for 42 yards.
His role is expected to be much larger this season, especially in the first four games while Josh Gordon serves a suspension.
“It’s exciting,” Pryor said. “It’s not a thing where I just woke up and rolled out of bed and that’s what happened. There’s a lot of hard work into it and this is what I expect.
“This is what I expected from myself to be out there and be able to contribute to the team and make some big plays, and I’m very excited to get out there with my teammates.”
Pryor didn’t want to reflect on how far he’s come from this time last year, when he was cut leading up to the opener.
“I don’t ever look in the rear view,” he said. “There’s no sense in that. That’s not doing anything for me but bringing back a negative thought. It’s all positive here. I’m really looking to get after it Sunday.
“Just because the game’s on Sunday doesn’t change my mindset of being aggressive and trying to be the best athlete on the field every single play.”
Pryor caught five passes in the preseason for 122 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown. He wasn’t satisfied with his blocking in the run game in the opener but said he improved in the final three games.
“I want to help my brothers out,” he said. “When Crow’s (Isaiah Crowell) running the ball I don’t want him to take extra hits. That’s another part of my one-11th when I’m on the field, I’ve got to take care of my teammates in terms of blocking for them. That’s very important to me.”
Coach Hue Jackson said he will probably sit down with rookie receiver Corey Coleman to calm his nerves before the opener.
“I think all of our rookies will feel some anxiety,” Jackson said. “Corey being a first-round draft pick, a lot of responsibility comes along with that. What I would say to him is that let’s not worry about that.
“We all know he is very talented. Just play the game and let’s not get tied up about all the other thought processes that could go through your head. He does not have to do anything miraculous for us to win. He just has to do his job to the best of his ability.”
Coleman, the No. 15 pick, missed two preseason games with a hamstring injury and caught only one pass for 10 yards. He said he feels a “big responsibility” but not because he was a high pick.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself because I want to be great,” he said. “I put a lot of pressure on me, the way I do stuff, the way I critique myself.”
Pryor said Coleman’s been “awesome” all week.
“He’s been handling his business. He’s been on point on everything,” Pryor said. “He caught a lot of balls today and yesterday and it’s exciting to see. It’s really coming together for him and it’s starting to slow down for him. You can really see it.”
CHANGE IS OK
Cornerback Tramon Williams started every game he played from 2010 in Green Bay through last year with the Browns. That streak will end Sunday unless the Eagles open in a three-receiver set.
Williams will be the nickelback after losing his starting job to Jamar Taylor.
“There is definitely an adjustment for me, but I feel like I can make an impact in any role I play,” Williams said. “Once you sit down and you think about the team goals, then it’s really not about what you think anymore. I am all in with these guys right now and I am going to try and play my role.”
Williams, 33, still hopes to win back the starting spot outside, but for Week 1 is focused on playing inside and trying to contain Philadelphia’s Jordan Matthews, who’s bigger than most slot receivers at 6-foot-3, 212 pounds. Matthews led the Eagles last year with 85 catches, 997 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
Williams will have an added duty, as he is listed as the first-team punt returner on the depth chart, with Coleman behind him.
“Ya’ll ain’t seen me in my earlier days. I can return,” Williams said. “I actually used to love punt return. You are actually able to feed off of it in the other parts of the game.”
Williams returned 54 punts between 2009-10 and is happy to do it again.
“There’s nothing like it,” he said. “I like to live on the edge.”
Rookie linebacker Scooby Wright III spent Saturday on edge. As a seventh-round pick, he wasn’t guaranteed a roster spot and entered the weekend on the bubble.
“I was real nervous,” he said. “Either way, I was excited about it. It was out of my control, I did everything I could and kind of just let go and just had faith.”
He spent the day hanging out with his parents and waiting for word from the Browns.
“It was kind of funny, I got sent the practice schedule around like 3:15 and the final cuts were at 4 o’clock,” he said. “So I’m like, what does this mean? But then the media released it and then that was it.”
He had made the team, even though he said no one from the Browns called to let him know. In this case, silence was golden.
IT’S GO TIME
Strong safety Ibraheim Campbell started one game as a rookie last season, filling in for an injured Donte Whitner. Campbell was promoted when Whitner was cut in the offseason and can’t wait to open the season as the starter.
“Extremely excited,” said Campbell, a fourth-round pick from Northwestern. “Something I worked a long time for and really just excited to get out there with this team. We’ve been putting in a lot of work since this spring and things have been coming together, so I’m excited to see them play out.”
Jackson said he wants to be as aggressive as possible, including trying 2-point conversions if the occasion is right. “We just have to get into the end zone more to have the opportunity to go for 2,” he said.
Taylor switched from No. 27 to No. 21, which was available after Justin Gilbert was traded to Pittsburgh.
Rookie outside linebacker Emmanuel Ogbah (hamstring) was added to the injury report. He was limited in practice.
Left tackle Joe Thomas was back practicing, as expected, after a rest day.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or [email protected] Like him on Facebook and follow him @scottpetrak on Twitter.