Browns’ first play: RG3 to Terrelle Pryor for 49 yards

Jeffery Phelps/WP

New coach Hue Jackson is trying to combat decades of Cleveland Browns futility, erase the memory of the Johnny Manziel era and end the town’s title drought just like LeBron did.

He doesn’t exactly have an awesome arsenal at hand — his starting QB is a cast-off Robert Griffin III, and several starters sat out Friday’s preseason opener. But the Green Bay Packers also sat their stars, so Lambeau looked like a level playing field. Anything could happen.

Like, RG3 to Terrelle Pryor for 49 yards on the Browns’ first play from scrimmage?

That’s right, the 2011 Heisman winner throwing to the Ohio State Buckeyes’ former QB. How far in the past all that seems now.

The struggles, however, still seem very immediate. The Browns’ first drive into the red zone fizzled as defensive back Micah Hyde made a lunging interception of a Griffin pass down near the goal line.

RG3 finished 4 of 8 for 67 yards in his Browns debut with the injured trio of Josh Gordon, Andrew Hawkins and first-round rookie Corey Coleman out. Pryor showed signs of being a capable receiver while filling in — he has just two career receptions after switching from QB following three unimpressive seasons with Oakland — but the Browns didn’t do much against the Packers’ backups in a 17-11 loss.

"I just felt we hurt ourselves a little too much. Can’t throw an interception. I’ve got to protect the ball," RG3 told reporters. "Outside of that, I thought the execution was there, but there’s definitely potential for more big plays out of us and we know that."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.