Browns' Pryor blasts Titans player for bragging about hit
Cleveland Browns free safety Jordan Poyer (33) walks off the field after being shaken up on a play against the Tennessee Titans in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
BEREA, Ohio (AP) One violent hit on Jordan Poyer was bad enough.
Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor wasn't going to let his teammate take another vicious shot without striking back.
Pryor blasted Tennessee running back Antonio Andrews for posting a video of the devastating hit he made on Poyer that sent Cleveland's starting safety to the hospital with a lacerated kidney.
Andrews delivered an illegal blindside hit during a punt return Sunday, and while Poyer was still recovering at Nashville's Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital, he posted the video of his hit on Instagram with the caption: ''Relentless.''
Pryor said that was over the line.
''I love Poyer like a brother, and that really angered me,'' Pryor said Wednesday, adding something more colorful to convey his feelings.
Pryor didn't have an issue with the hard, high hit by Andrews, who was penalized 15 yards for the infraction. He took exception to Andrews boasting about hitting a player who had no chance to defend himself.
''If you're going head up with a man face to face and he sees you, you see him, all right, cool,'' Pryor said before the Browns (0-6) practiced in advance of Sunday's game at Cincinnati.
''But if you're a special teams guy and you're popping that stuff on there like you're some type of superhero or something just because you're hitting a guy blindsided and you think that's cool, that's where the problem comes in.
''So I think he should stay to his special teams and what he does and don't post stuff when a man's not looking and taking a hit like that.''
Pryor agreed the hit was within what's accepted behavior in the NFL, but feels Andrews' bragging is intolerable.
''Obviously it's a game,'' Pryor said. ''I was fine with it (the hit) because it's a game, it's what happens. We put ourselves in that situation by signing the contract to play here. But the only thing that I didn't like was when the guy posted about it, bragging – relentless. What is relentless about that? Hitting a guy, another man when he's not looking.''
Andrews, who will be fined the NFL for his personal foul, has made his Instagram account private.
Poyer, who will miss the remainder of the season, also took exception to Andrews on Twitter.
''Buddy posted the hit to his Social Media page?'' Poyer wrote. ''Wow. Not complaining about the hit… its football.. stuff happens… but dam.. idk (I don't know) why but thats wild to me.. good for him tho.''
Andrews didn't back down and responded to Poyer, posting, ''Ha this contact sport get well soon tho kid.''
After his timeline filled with comments, Andrews defended his decision to post the video.
''Man these cats all in they feelings,'' Andrews tweeted. ''Its not gloating its just a simple post. Idc (I don't care) either way. i'm gonna get paid and get my 8 hrs of sleep.''
Browns Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas also felt Andrews went too far in making so much of his hit on Poyer.
''I think there should be some sensitivity involved with that type of a thing,'' he said. ''And you've got to be careful with what you're promoting because obviously when you're promoting a play that was a penalty and that got somebody hurt, maybe that's not the right thing that you want to promote for your own brand.''
While acknowledging the inherent violence in any game, Thomas thinks the league comes off as hypocritical when promoting player safety and showcasing fierce collisions.
''That's one thing that I'd like to see the NFL do is not use highlights of plays that were penalties,'' he said before referencing a hit Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison put on Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi in 2010. Massaquoi suffered a concussion on the blow to his helmet and Harrison was fined $75,000.
''They were using that as like the cover photo of something they were trying to sell,'' Thomas said. ''So I think it's a double standard that I'd like to see the NFL look at a little bit, and if they're going to try to legislate something out of the game, they shouldn't also try to promote it from a marketing standpoint.''
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL