WASHINGTON — “He came out [and] literally looked like a Transformer; that’s a tall boy.” That was the first impression Washington Redskins safety Will Blackmon had of his future teammate when the two met in Week 4 last season.
Pryor joined the Redskins as a free agent this offseason, tasked with replacing the production of experienced veterans DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. All three receivers had 1,000-yard campaigns in 2016, but Pryor is unique in that it was only his first as a full-time starting receiver.
The theory is that Pryor’s 2016 production is just a taste of what he can accomplish when he actually transforms completely into a receiver.
“If you can take someone who’s a super-good athlete, and you put him with the right coach, to polish him, he can figure it out; athletes will figure it out,” Blackmon explained to the media. “I think, getting here early, working with Kirk [Cousins] down in Florida, getting here early with [receivers coach] Ike [Hilliard], being in the front room, going against [cornerback] Josh [Norman] every day, I think he’ll be just fine for us.”
Cousins agrees, citing Pryor’s experience as a quarterback for reading defenses in a similar fashion.
“I like it because I’ve never had a conversation with a receiver like I’ve had with him where he said, ‘Yeah, it was two-invert, so I took it to the post. It was quarters on the backside,’” Cousins said. “He really can see it and he’s going to hold me accountable, so you take the good with the bad. I love it.”
“He’s an enthusiastic guy. He’s always wanting to run another route. ‘Let’s try it again, let’s do it again,’ just a positive attitude and he’s been a joy to work with thus far.
“I’m really looking forward to trying to get him as many touches as possible and allow him to impact our team in any way he can.”
Head coach Jay Gruden is also high on his new top target, although he did his best to honor the process.
“Terrelle is a different target and gives us some different options down the field, but we do have to get him squared away on some of the fundamental route concepts that we have,” he explained. “He’s only been playing receiver for a couple of years, so there’s some things we’ve have got to get caught up, but he’s got a great skill set.
“He’s long, he can run, [has] a great catch radius and he’s been a pleasure to coach so far.”