Rookie lesson No. 1: You can't be the star of the show every week.
New York Jets safety Calvin Pryor learned that Friday night against the New York Giants, blending into the background only a week after stealing the headline. Hey, it happens. Pryor made his first start, played 46 of 63 defensive snaps and was a bit tentative, according to Rex Ryan.
It started on the first play of the game. The Jets stayed in their base personnel against a three-receiver package by the Giants, who hit slot receiver Victor Cruz for nine yards on a poorly covered slant. Pryor was late on the scene. He also arrived a split-second too late on a 15-yard touchdown pass to Rueben Randle, who beat LeQuan Lewis in what was a busted coverage.
"I don't know, he seemed late on a couple of things, but we'll get that done," Ryan said of his No. 1 pick. "He didn't have the monster hit or anything you're accustomed to seeing. Sometimes, they're there, sometimes they're not. Overall, I told him to just fire his gun a little bit."
Ryan admitted he put the defense in a "poor situation" at the outset, based on the personnel group, but he does that sometimes in the preseason to see how players react. Pryor didn't react as well as hoped, but that's okay. You can't have two break-ups, a fumble recovery and a tackle-for-loss every week, as he did the previous week against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Jets have big plans for Pryor, drafted 18th overall. He'll probably open the season in tandem with Dawan Landry, a wise head who can coach him through a game. If the Antonio Allen-to-cornerback experiment is aborted, he'll probably join Pryor and Landry in a three-safety rotation.