Jets’ Pryor ‘shocked’ by Dolphins QB’s ‘classless’ comment
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Calvin Pryor thinks Ryan Tannehill should have passed on criticizing him.
The New York Jets safety said he was “shocked” when he heard that the Miami Dolphins quarterback called him “classless” for celebrating a hit that injured a player.
“After you just lost a game, I’m not thinking you’re going to make it about me, and that one play,” Pryor said Wednesday. “I just had to let him know, man, that it would’ve never happened if hadn’t put your player in that position. So, don’t fault me for making a big hit.”
Pryor smacked into Dolphins receiver Rishard Matthews in the first quarter of the Jets’ 38-20 win Sunday. An excited Pryor celebrated the play with his back to Matthews, who remained on the MetLife Stadium turf for a few minutes with chest and rib injuries.
After the game, Tannehill acknowledged it was a clean hit, but took exception to Pryor’s reaction. Pryor wrote on Twitter that night he was simply celebrating his big hit, and Tannehill put Matthews in that position with a bad throw.
“For him to call me ‘classless,’ he tried to kind of like downgrade me a little bit,” Pryor said. “You could’ve came and said something to me after the game, but don’t talk to the media about me.”
It was Pryor’s first interview with reporters since the game, and he was still bothered by Tannehill’s comments.
“That’s kind of a classless move to celebrate when a guy’s injured,” Tannehill said after the game. “It was a good hit, a clean hit. But to celebrate when a guy’s down is kind of a classless move.”
Pryor said he knows several of the Dolphins players, including receivers Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker, and no one approached him on the field during or after the game about the hit.
“It’s football,” Pryor said. “It’s part of football. Things happen.”
Pryor made a reputation of making hard hits with an aggressive style in college, and even earned the nickname “The Louisville Slugger” for his play with the Cardinals. But the Jets’ first-round draft pick last year isn’t concerned about possibly being labeled a dirty player because of comments such as Tannehill’s.
“It wasn’t a cheap shot at all,” Pryor said. “The quarterback threw a bad ball, and I was there to make a play. That’s what happened.”
Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall called him the team’s “tone-setter” and Pryor is OK with that. The hard-hitting safety would like to think that opponents are aware of where he is at all times on the field because of the plays he can make.
“If people want to make me out to be the bad guy,” Pryor said smiling, “I’m fine with it.”
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