They don't call him the "Louisville Slugger" for nothing.
Jets safety Calvin Pryor set the tone early with his punishing hits. But those crushing blows came at the expense of the Dolphins -- and Miami players weren't pleased.
Pryor's hellacious first-quarter hit on Rishard Matthews left the receiver prone on the ground for several minutes -- and while Matthews was being tended to by trainers, Pryor was several feet away celebrating.
His dance moves weren't in the vicinity of Matthews and didn't appear to be a celebration of an injured player. But that didn't stop Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill from calling Pryor's celebration a "classless move.''
"I didn't notice it, honestly," Tannehill said of the celebrating. "I was just worried about Rishard. I heard some guys talking about it on the sideline . . . Obviously, it was a good hit, a clean hit, but to celebrate when a guy's down, it's kind of a classless move."
Pryor tapped Matthews on the helmet as the receiver walked off the field slowly. He did not return to the game with a rib and chest injury.
Pryor tweeted after the game: "Throw a better ball next time @ryantannehill1 teammate would've never got injured!!! Sorry if you felt I was classless at the moment.
"I was definitely celebrating the great play I made. I would never celebrate someone getting injured during the game. C'mon now"
While Tannehill was calling out Pryor for unsportsmanlike conduct, down the hallway in the winners' locker room, Pryor was being praised by his teammates.
"That's the tone-setter right there," receiver Brandon Marshall said as he walked by the crowd of reporters interviewing Pryor. "He's Troy Polamalu."
Added Sheldon Richardson: "Hits like that . . . It was infectious. Contagious. And guys fed off that."
Pryor was far more sheepish when the cameras surrounded him at his locker after the game. Asked if his hit on Matthews sparked a defensive effort that allowed a franchise-low 12 rushing yards and held the Dolphins to a 4-for-15 conversion rate on third down, Pryor smiled and said: "People are saying that. I would hope so. I think it's trying to bring that energy to our defense and just trying to be a leader out there."