NFL Wire News

Bowles not happy with Pryor’s aggressiveness at Jets’ OTAs


The Sports Xchange

FLORHAM PARK, N.Y. — New York Jets second-year safety Calvin Pryor’s reputation as a hard hitter is legitimate. Just ask tight end Zach Sudfeld.

Pryor provided the biggest news of the Jets’ second day of minicamp Wednesday when he leveled Sudfeld during a non-contact red-zone drill. Sudfeld had just caught a pass when Pryor, leading with his shoulder, barreled into Sudfeld and sent him crashing to the ground.

Sudfeld appeared stunned and walked off the field with the assistance of a trainer. Head coach Todd Bowles said he didn’t have an update on Sudfeld, but he made no attempt to hide his displeasure with Pryor.

“A couple guys got a little carried away,” said Bowles, who was likely also referring to rookie linebacker Deion Barnes crashing into backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick while completing a sack.

Bowles said he will remind the Jets of playing so aggressively during practice, but he may need all of his communication skills to convince Pryor to dial it down. Pryor knocked out an opposing player with a hard hit in three consecutive games during his final season at Louisville. And Pryor wasted no time establishing himself during his NFL debut in a preseason game last Aug. 16, when he forced Bengals running back Rex Burkhead from the game with a bone-rattling hit behind the line of scrimmage.

–Oft-beleaguered quarterback Geno Smith had a far better practice Wednesday than he did Tuesday. Smith threw three interceptions Tuesday but didn’t turn the ball over at all Wednesday, when he found wide receiver Walter Powell open in the end zone behind cornerback Darrelle Revis (really) for a 70-yard touchdown.

It’s just minicamp, of course, but after 34 turnovers in two NFL seasons, Smith needs to build as much positive momentum as possible.

Backups Fitzpatrick and Bryce Petty also protected the ball Wednesday, which pleased Bowles.

“The quarterbacks were decent,” Bowles said. “We just have to be consistent.”

–Sudfeld wasn’t the only Jets player to exit Wednesday with an injury. Cornerback Darrin Walls (leg) and wide receiver Brandon Marshall (toe) both departed practice early.

Five other players: tight end Jace Amaro (back), guard Willie Colon (knee) cornerback Dee Milliner (Achilles tendon), running back Stevan Ridley (knee) and wide receiver Devin Smith (personal) were absent for a second straight day. Amaro was injured last week, Colon appears to be getting maintenance days, Milliner and Ridley are recovering from the injuries that ended their 2014 seasons and Smith is away awaiting the birth of his child.

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