Terrelle Pryor's Twitter feed in July was part testament, part evidence and part reverence. He was working, learning the nuances of playing wide receiver, preparing his legs for more running than he'd ever had to do as a quarterback and training with good friend and Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown, as well as Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans and suspended Cleveland wide receiver Josh Gordon.
And Pryor was doing it all under the watchful eye of Randy Moss. Yes, the Randy Moss.
Hence one of Pryor's tweets, which included video of the 38-year-old future Hall of Famer shirtless and making a cut: "Randy still got moves."
"He's taught me everything," Pryor said.
If you stand 6-foot-5, have run a sub-4.4 40-yard dash and must switch from playing quarterback your entire life to trying to make it in the National Football League as a wide receiver at age 26, Moss isn't a bad person to emulate. When Brown suggested that Pryor meet Moss, it was a no-brainer. Pryor was in. In July, Pryor met with Moss in Charlotte and worked out, doing Pilates, lifting weights and just soaking in all Moss told him.
Pryor thinks all the work will pay off. He just doesn't know when.
Since Cleveland released him on Sept. 10, Pryor has tried out for New England, the New York Jets, San Francisco, Seattle and the New York Giants. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, called it "a workout a week," and while none resulted in a contract offer, Rosenhaus remains optimistic that it's only a matter of time before a team has both a need at wide receiver and the willingness to sign a gifted athlete who has played wide receiver in only one half of one preseason game.
Despite Pryor missing much of training camp and the preseason with a nagging hamstring issue, Cleveland was willing to keep Pryor on its active roster on cutdown day. Pryor was the seventh receiver on the squad and the 53rd player on the 53-man roster. He lasted a week and was released so the Browns could sign a running back, Robert Turbin, who came to them with a high ankle sprain and wasn't available for a game until two weeks ago.
To hear Rosenhaus tell it, all five teams that worked Pryor out liked him. The issue -- and this does make sense -- is that because of his years playing in Oakland, where he started nine games in 2013, Pryor is not eligible for a team's practice squad. He would have to be added to the 53-man roster. Those spots, even at the bottom of the roster, are valuable and rarely used on a player who is viewed as a significant project.
In other words: He's good enough to be signed, but not quite good enough for a 53-man.
Pryor has the athleticism to play the position, but as one scout said, there's no way to know at this point if his athleticism will yield production because Pryor never has caught a ball in traffic. He's never caught a ball in a regular-season game. He doesn't have a resume tape beyond, well, this. There are just too many unknowns.
Counters Rosenhaus: "We're marketing him as a wide receiver and as a guy that can be a very talented wide receiver, but it doesn't take a genius to know that he obviously has a great background at quarterback and that's something he can do if a team needs him to do that. He can take up two positions on one team, and that's incredibly valuable. He's also not only a weapon as a receiver but with the ball in his hands on reverses and things of that nature.
"We're confident that it's just a matter of time until one of these teams decides to make the move."
In the meantime, Pryor has set up shop in Pittsburgh, where his 15-month-old son lives. He wakes every morning around 5:30 and heads to the gym, where he swims 15 laps in a pool. By 11 a.m., he's doing more cardio and lifting weights. Around 1-1:30 p.m., Pryor hits the practice field and works out with a trainer, Tim Cortazzo, and a couple of local former players who serve as defenders. After that, he spends the rest of the day with his son.
Pryor said he was hesitant to switch from quarterback to wide receiver, a decision he made in late June after Cincinnati became the third team to cut him in less than a year. But Pryor said he thought playing receiver was the best way to continue an NFL career that started when Oakland picked him in the third round of the 2011 supplemental draft.
"I'm pretty confident in my hands," Pryor said. "There's a lot of things I have to work on with the top of my routes. I think I've gotten a lot better at it, and once I get on a team, they'll see that. ...
"For me, I don't want to come across in any way, but I believe in my ability, I really do. I know I can do it. I know I can be really good at it. I just need a chance. When that time comes, I'll be able to show it."
And Pryor will be able to thank Moss, who is a ready source of knowledge and encouragement.
"Every weekend," Pryor said, "he's like, 'You've just got to be patient. Once you get going, it's going to go. Just be patient. You'll get back on the field.'"