Following his debut as an NFL rookie, New York Jets safety Calvin Pryor is looking to build off his strong outing against the Cincinnati Bengals and carry it over into the game this Friday night against the New York Giants.
In the very first play of the game that he stepped onto the field of, he helped cause a sack and a fumble; a fumble he recovered. The Jets offense punched in a touchdown just a couple of plays later and from then on, the excitement over Pryor has been buzzing. The first-round pick of the Jets told the media on Thursday that he wants to continue his solid play, but has two key things he wants to work on for his first season.
“For the most part, I had a pretty solid game,” he said. “(The coaches) kept things much easier for me. We didn’t do too many complicated things (schematically). After watching the film, I learned some things I could do better. One, just try to get in the best shape I can possibly (be in). And I kind of left some plays out on the field where my eyes were in bad position. So if I can just keep my eyes on my keys and read what I’m doing on the defensive side of the ball, I should be all right.”
Two things that are always important to any NFL player, much less a top safety in the league; conditioning and sound discipline. It helped Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu over the years and Pryor will look to have that same reputation.
Pryor missed a big chunk of training camp due to a concussion that held him out of the team's first preseason game of the summer against the Indianapolis Colts and it's why Pryor has been working hard to get into game shape; something he said is getting to be that way with each passing day of practice.
“Each day I’m getting better,” he said of his conditioning. “It’s going to come. The season isn’t here yet, so I still have time. That’s important, (and) that’s why I get those reps (during preseason games), so I can just get back into playing shape.”
While Pryor said that he thinks he has a long way to go as far as improvements go, Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman had nothing but positive things to find when watching Pryor's game film from their victory over the Bengals last weekend.
“Played fast, played hard, is physical (and) can be somewhat intimidating because he does play fast,” Thurman said. “We just expect him to continue to get better and to continue to work and grow. It’s fun watching him. It’s fun watching him play.”
With Rex Ryan likely to play his starters for most of, if not all of, the first half, Pryor should get a lot more playing time and opportunities to shine and show everyone why he was considered the top safety coming out of the NFL Draft.
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