Calvin Pryor, the New York Jets, opportunity, and the things that motivate us

Calvin Pryor - (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Calvin Pryor – (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

2014 hasn’t been the rookie season Calvin Pryor was hoping for. The first-round pick of the New York Jets has not played up to expectations, the Jets are a 2-8 team, and Pryor has now been demoted from his starting safety position.

Pryor’s poor play isn’t the primary reason the Jets are 2-8 this season, however it’s arguable the reasons behind his demotion shed light on some of the things that have gone wrong with them.

There were reports of Pryor missing multiple team meetings this season (Patra, Nov. 10), apparently it all came to a head this past weekend when Jets head coach Rex Ryan decided enough was enough. Pryor played only 13 snaps on Sunday against the Steelers, all on special teams.

Pryor’s response to being benched was one of admission and realization (Walder, Nov,12). He realizes when it comes to the expectations placed upon a hard-hitting, first-round draft pick out of Louisville, he hasn’t held up his end of the deal.

“I haven’t been playing the way I should,” Pryor said Tuesday. “That’s something I have to look at myself and tell myself and just go do better.” “Got a little chip on my shoulder right now. Kind of my back is against the wall,”

His back’s against the wall alright.

Pryor not only lost his starting job this past weekend, his replacement, Jaiquawn Jarrett went out against the Steelers and picked up two interceptions along with a sack. Pryor’s mistakes and poor judgement created an opportunity that Jarrett is taking full advantage of.

Sometimes it takes the strangest of events to motivate us into fixing what went wrong along the way. Pryor will have to work hard to regain his starting job, he’s a first-round draft pick so I wouldn’t count him out. However, he’ll need to use that chip on his shoulder to help navigate him through the first major crossroads of his professional career.

Anthony Rushing | @AnthonyRushing_

 

 

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Trouble in Brooklyn? Nets’ Joe Johnson rips teammates for ‘selfish’ play

Joe Johnson - (Alex Goodlett/Getty Images )
Joe Johnson – (Alex Goodlett/Getty Images )

Joe Johnson leads the Brooklyn Nets in field goal attempts with an average of 16 per game. The Nets are 4-2 to start the season with a top-five offense, however the normally quiet Johnson apparently isn’t pleased.

Before taking off for a three-game road trip out west, Johnson voiced his concern on what he feels has been selfish play on the offensive side of the ball by the Nets (The Brooklyn Game, Nov 11).

“It’s just- as individuals, as players, (we have to) have each other’s backs out there,” Johnson vented to the media after the team’s Tuesday afternoon practice. “I just felt, I didn’t believe it. I go back, and I watch the tape, and I watch film just to try to get a different perspective, and I mean, my feelings haven’t changed.”

“It’s just kind of what it is. Defensively, we help from time to time, offensively, I just think guys kind of exhaust their options and then when there’s nothing else for them, then they’ll pass it when they have to. For the most part, we’ve been very selfish…”

“I’m not hiding anything,” Johnson vented after the team’s practice Tuesday. “We’re 4-2 six games into the season, but it’s early. We haven’t played anybody, and the Minnesota game (is) obviously a game we should’ve won. I thought this last game that we played against Orlando was almost a carbon copy.”

Johnson has been a key reason as to why Brooklyn is off to a 4-2 start this season, he leads the team in scoring, averaging 19.8 per game. The timing of his comments seem odd along with the fact that he’s normally very quiet when it comes to these type of things.

Whatever it is that caused Johnson to speak up publicly, it has to be something worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses for Brooklyn.

Anthony Rushing | @AnthonyRushing