Jets safety Calvin Pryor has nothing but love for friend and fellow first-round pick Eric Ebron.
Despite what seemed like a recent flap on Twitter between the two rookies, they actually have a friendship that goes back several years and stems from their mutual love for trash talk.
This past Tuesday, the two exchanged tweets concerning the NBA playoffs and, in particular, the Heat. Pryor hails from Florida and is a Miami fan. The Lions tight end poked fun at Pryor's use of the word “us” when referring to the Heat, to which the Jets rookie responded “come cross that middle and you'll see who is us.” Boom. A war of the words was born — or maybe not.
“That's my close friend ever since college. When we first got to college, we played UNC my freshman and sophomore years,” Pryor told Metro New York. “Ever since, we've kept that close relationship. We were both great competitors. People blew it out of proportion but it's football. There will be trash talk. But I knew it wasn't anything and he knew that as well.”
Trash talking is a serious business for Pryor.
Part of his preparation leading up to a game, he says, is to do research on the players he might be going up against. He uses this time a couple days before the game to find out what might get inside a player's head. It can be as simple as doing a Google search on a wide receiver to try and get some dirt on him.
Pryor might learn of an opponent's dropped pass or even an arrest. Pryor, known as a heavy hitter, isn't afraid to lower the boom with some choice words either.
“Just trying to get in their head, find everything I can on them,” Pryor said. “Talk whatever I can, it's nothing personal. Anything that gets a win. Depending on who we face that week, finding out the players and who they are. If I face a tight end who hasn't had any catches, I will let him know that. I will say, 'Hey, you haven't caught anything all year and you won't today,' or something like that.”
He becomes the latest Jets trash talker, carrying on a legacy that includes Bart Scott. Ironically, Pryor tweeted, “Can't wait *Bart Scott voice*” several days ago. But there is a line he says he won't cross. Certain things he won't bring up in his trash talk out of respect for the players.
One opponent said Pryor's trash talk raised his competitive level when they played.
“Ebron actually. He's a trash talker, I'm a trash talker. But we're both competitors,” Pryor said. “He saw that in me, I saw that in him. Hopefully we'll pick that up again if we ever play each other.”
The Jets and Lions are scheduled to meet on Sept. 28 in Week 4, so he could get his chance.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.