Saturday, May 17, 2014
Calvin Pryor delivers smacks -- talks it, too
By Rich Cimini
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Calvin Pryor doesn't wear a mouthpiece because he doesn't want anything to restrict his yap. The New York Jets' No. 1 pick was a self-proclaimed trash talker in college, and he's not planning to hit the mute button now that he's in the NFL. The hard-hitting safety said Saturday he won't back down against the top receivers, not even against, say, Larry Fitzgerald.
"He's human, right?" Pryor said. "I would have no problem with it at all. ... With me being a rookie, that doesn't mean anything. I am who I am. I'm going to talk trash. If people don't like it, they're going to have to get used to it."
Rookie Calvin Pryor has already earned praise for his smarts at Jets rookie minicamp.
Pryor is off to a fast start in rookie camp. Rex Ryan praised his mental aptitude, his ability to digest information and take it to the field. Ryan called Pryor the most impressive player in camp, which is what you'd expect from the 18th overall pick.
The cerebral aspect to the game is important, but Pryor made his name in college based on intimidation -- verbal and physical. He talked smack, and smacked opponents with bone-jarring hits.
"When you're out there and you can talk trash and get into a guy's head, it affects their game a little bit," he said. "That's the main reason why I do it. It's nothing personal against them. It's who I am as a football player.
"You talk trash and you go out there and play crazy and hit guys hard, it's an intimidation factor," Pryor continued. "It's like, 'This guy means what he says.'"
Presumably, Pryor will start at one safety spot, with Dawan Landry or Antonio Allen at the other position. Many have assumed that it'll be Pryor and Landry, the most experienced returning player in the secondary, but it sounds as if Landry could be headed to a reserve role. There had been some speculation after the draft that Landry's roster spot is in jeopardy. Ryan put that to rest -- he called him a "vital member" of the defense -- but he didn't commit to Landry as a starter.
"Landry is going to play a ton, whether it's a clear-cut starter or whatever you want to say ... he'll play," Ryan said. "He'll play in some capacity, and he might end up playing more than any of the other safeties."
One thing is clear: Pryor is the new top dog.
"There will be a lot of jerseys sold with Pryor's name on the back, because I have a feeling he'll become one of the more popular Jets," Ryan said.