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Jets ask Calvin Pryor to save the big hits for when games count

New York Jets free safety Calvin Pryor, left,

New York Jets free safety Calvin Pryor, left, lines up against safety Durell Eskridge during a mandatory minicamp at the team's facility, Tuesday, June 9, 2015, in Florham Park, N.J. Photo Credit: AP / Julio Cortez

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Calvin Pryor has a reputation for being a hitter, but the former first-round pick didn't make any Brownie points with Jets coach Todd Bowles, or his teammates, after getting a little rough in this week's minicamp.

With players wearing no padding other than helmets, and practices supposed to be non-contact, the second-year safety got a little overly physical with some receivers the last two days, and one collision Wednesday with Zach Sudfeld knocked the tight end out of practice.

Sudfeld sat out practice Thursday with what Bowles said was a knee injury. "He's running more tests, so obviously, it's more than just a minor injury," he said. "We're trying to see exactly what it is, and what's to be done."

Bowles spoke to Pryor after practice Wednesday, and on Thursday Pryor said he understood the coach's point. "It wasn't on purpose," Pryor said of the hit. "[Bowles] said something to me, but at the same time, that's just the way I practice, and the way I play. But I do have to tone it down."

On Thursday, Pryor had another run-in, when he bumped solidly into Eric Decker after Decker caught a pass over the middle in 11-on-11 drills. Pryor insisted he didn't deliberately hit him: "I broke on the ball, made a play, and we were both there at the same time, and there just happened to be a collision."

He said no one spoke to him, except for Bowles, whom he said told him it was a "great play."

Some of Pryor's veteran teammates didn't seem thrilled.

"It's player safety, at the end of the day," Darrelle Revis said. "And that goes for anybody on a team, in terms of -- we're not in pads. Simply try to . . . stay away from the quarterbacks -- that's the first rule; and then, kind of, you know, stay away from the receivers, and when there's deep balls thrown down the field, don't get tangled up."

Asked what the value is in having a hard-hitting safety, Revis said there may be an intimidation factor on over-the-middle routes. But Antonio Cromartie said, "I mean, honestly, who cares about a reputation as a big hitter? . . . It's not always about the big hits, it's about making sure you're doing your job and your job only, and not trying to build off anyone else."


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