Calvin Pryor was selected 18th overall in this years NFL Draft by the New York Jets. Since then, he’s not been a rookie to shy away from attention or afraid to talk a big game. Twelve days after becoming a professional football player, he engaged in a Twitter war with fellow first round pick (10th overall to the Lions) Eric Ebron, drawing a great deal of attention.
See the Twitter stream below.
Following this brief “War of words”, Pryor told reporters following practice: “People want to blow it out of proportion, that’s a good friend of mine. I know what type of person he is, he knows what type of person I am, and we respect each other. I would never step out of my boundaries and try to take it personal. He’s a friend of mine, and we both like to talk trash.”
Pryor went on to explain that he and Ebron have known each other since their freshman year of college, as Pryor often went to UNC (Ebron’s university) to visit his cousin and made a point to hang out with him. Nonetheless, this isn’t exactly the type of attention an organization wants their freshly chosen #1 rookie selection to garner.
Earlier in the week, Pryor was again in the spotlight. On SNY (Sports New York for our non-tristate area readers) Pryor expressed his feelings towards the Jets’ arch nemesis the New England Patriots, and then their crosstown rivals the New York Giants. “We don’t like Tom (Brady) at all,” Pryor said, via The New York Post. “When I first came here, that was one of the first things I heard about: We hate the Patriots and we hate the Giants … So we hate those guys and I look forward to playing them this season.”
It looks like Calvin will have the chance to put his money where his mouth is versus all the teams he’s already talked smack to. The Jets play Detroit Week 4 in the regular season, the Patriots twice (Week 7 and 16), and the Giants in preseason on August 22nd.
Oh – did I forget to mention Pryor said this re: Geno Smith? “I’ve been watching Geno since he was playing college ball. I know what type of quarterback he is. He’s going to be one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game of football. He just has to stay focused and do the little things right.” I can respect confidence in your teammates, but REALLY Calvin, really?
On the practice field, Pryor (as a rookie) is asserting himself as a team leader – which is never a bad thing. He once corrected Geno Smith during practice, saying “You can’t throw that Geno, guys like me will wreck receivers if you put him in that position!” The Jets need a new ‘quarterback’ of their Defense and Pryor may just be the guy to do it in his rookie campaign. He’s a heat seeking missile and can tackle (cleanly) with the best of them. But perhaps it would be best to keep his comments on the field in lieu of turning to the media. They’re experts at twisting and turning words into headlines that will sell papers, and motivate opponents.
One thing is for sure, Calvin Pryor is a Rex Ryan kind of guy. He’s unaffected when a microphone is in his face and will say what is on his mind. But as a rookie, is he going too far? He hasn’t played a snap in the NFL yet and he’s already putting a target on his back. I admire his work ethic and playing ability, but there’s no need to draw this type of attention so early into your tenure with a professional team.
What do you think? Is there such a thing as being too vocal as a rookie?