Cortland, NY---Learning the X's and O's and in's and out's of an NFL playbook. Not easy. Why do you think they call this training camp?
Calvin Pryor's education in the Jets defense is extending on the field here in Cortland, led by his defensive backs coach Tim McDonald.
"He's my coach, he's the guy I look to if I don't know an answer." Pryor says. "I can go ask him. He's just trying to help get me ready to go.
Of all the help and coaching McDonald's giving Pryor, what's most important?
"Tell him to study." coach McDonald told us. "Right now there is not a whole lot of spare time. We're here for one reason, that's why we come here, to get the guys away. And get entrenched in your football. The faster he can pick things up, the better chance he has to be on the field full time. He has all the tools athletically. We just have to make sure that he's caught up to speed mentally."
"I asked him everything I need to do out on the field." Pryor says. "My assignments, where I need to be. Just the details of everything. And he's able to help me out with all that."
McDonald is patient, that's simply part of a coach's job when it comes to rookies. "It takes a little time. And sometimes he gets a little frustrated with it. We'll keep working his way through it, and hopefully we'll get to the point to where his athletic ability can take over because he's not thinking about what he needs to do."
The teaching doesn't stop when the practice horn blows. Calvin is well aware of that.
"It starts in the film room. Coach McDonald stays on me about my details and my assignments, and where I have to be."
"Right now" says McDonald "we're just to get him to understand the book. Understand what the pro game is all about and how we adjusts to things."
"If I'm able to carry over to what I learned in the film room over to the practice field, it becomes much easier." says Pryor, who seems bent on being a good student in every way.
The starting safeties have yet to been announced, but there's a reason the Jets took Pryor in the first round of May's Draft.
"The big thing, if the guy's making plays," McDonald says "if he's ready to play, we'll find a place for Calvin to play. We didn't draft him to sit around and watch ok! So if he can get to the point where we think he can get to, he's got all the play making ability, expect to see him out there on the field."
Calvin and the Jets get their first taste of the preseason August 7th against the Colts.