Jets rookie safety Calvin Pryor talks trash and delivers hits
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- No one will be safe from Calvin Pryor's mouth this season.
Not even star NFL receivers.
The "rookie" label has done little to change Pryor's on-field personality. The Jets' first-round pick has never been afraid of flapping his gums and he plans to continue the trend in the NFL -- even if he's lined up against a big-time wideout like Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald.
"He's human, right?" Pryor said with a laugh after Day 2 of rookie minicamp. "I have no problem with it at all."
Asked to deliver one of his go-to trash-talk lines, the Jets' 18th overall pick, smiled and said: "Come across the middle again, we'll see what happens. Something like that."
Big hits are Pryor's specialty. The safety, who tries to model his game after Seattle's Kam Chancellor and Tampa Bay's Dashon Goldson, registered 175 tackles, five interceptions, 11 passes defensed and seven forced fumbles the past two seasons for the Louisville Cardinals. But his Jets teammates have started to realize Pryor has a way with words too.
He loves getting inside receivers' heads almost as much as he loves delivering devastating blows. And Pryor's been that way for as long as he can remember.
"That's the main reason I don't wear a mouthpiece," he said, clarifying that he's "nothing like that" off the field.
" . . . When you're able to talk trash and you go out there and make plays, hit guys hard, it's kind of an intimidation factor," he said. "This guy means what he says and he's ready to play, so we're going to have to step up our game. It's all fun and games for the most part."
So far, the Jets like what they see. "There's going to be a lot of jerseys sold with Pryor's name on the back cause I have a funny feeling that he's going to become one of the more popular Jets as this thing gets going," coach Rex Ryan said.
"Smart, instinctive and on top of it. It's rare that it comes easy . . . He has really been everything that we've wanted, and then some."
Pryor credited his defensive coaches and current safeties Dawan Landry and Antonio Allen for his quick adjustment. And even though he's only been on the job a matter of days, he's eager to showcase his physical style of play -- and his big mouth -- on game day.
"Me being a rookie, that doesn't mean anything," said Pryor, who now is sharing the No. 25 -- the same number he wore in college -- with running back Alex Green. "I am who I am. I'm going to talk trash, I'm going to be myself. And people who don't like it are going to have to get used to it."