Terrelle Pryor set for debut against team that courted him
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Terrelle Pryor nearly joined the Philadelphia Eagles before signing with the Washington Redskins on the first day of free agency.
He can show them what they missed Sunday in the season opener.
”Something happened in-house over there,” Pryor said about his agent’s conversations with the Eagles in March.
Philadelphia chose to sign Alshon Jeffery to a one-year deal worth $9.5 million. Pryor also got a one-year deal for $6 million from the Redskins.
Which team made the better move? One game won’t answer that question, but both players get to show their stuff at FedEx Field in Week 1.
”I really wanted to play with Kirk,” Pryor said about quarterback Kirk Cousins. ”I thought he was a great quarterback. And that’s what I was looking for, to play with a good quarterback. All I needed was another year to get my feet on the ground and show I could dominate and be even better than last year.”
Jeffery is looking forward to going against cornerback Josh Norman, who likes to talk trash. He has 11 catches for 189 yards and a touchdown in two games against Norman.
”I don’t get into the talking game,” Jeffery said. ”I just play football. I always feel that if someone is talking at me, they respect (my) game, so I just let my play do the talking.”
Both teams made big changes at wide receiver. The Redskins lost starters DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon in free agency. Pryor, a former quarterback coming off a breakout season in Cleveland, takes over as the No. 1 guy on a prove-it contract.
”I got four or five offers for four or five-year deals for a lot of money, but it wasn’t where I thought I needed to be,” Pryor said. ”I wanted to really show I can do it, dominate at it again, and really just set myself up to have a home for four or five years.”
The Eagles signed Jeffery and Torrey Smith, drafted Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson and traded Jordan Matthews.
”We want to use all of our weapons on offense,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. ”(Alshon) is a big target, dynamic guy, that’s had success when he is faced with challenges. This will be a great test for him with Josh following him.”
Here’s some more things to watch:
REDSKINS DOMINANCE: The previous time the Eagles beat Washington, Chip Kelly was the toast of the town and Nick Foles was the starting quarterback. That was Week 3 of the 2014 season. Kelly was fired a year later and Foles is now Carson Wentz’s backup after stints in St. Louis and Kansas City. The Redskins have won the past five games, including victories that eliminated the Eagles from playoff contention in 2014 and 2015.
IN THE TRENCHES: Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson missed both games against the Redskins last season while serving a 10-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing supplements. Ryan Kerrigan took advantage of Johnson’s absence, registering 3+ sacks in those games.
”It just motivates me to go out there and go play even harder this year,” Johnson said.
BRINGING HEAT: Cousins is wary of Philadelphia’s pass rush and has a lot of respect for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s scheme because he finds different ways to pressure quarterbacks. Schwartz has rookie first-round pick Derek Barnett at his disposal along with Pro Bowl tackle Fletcher Cox, end Brandon Graham and a strong back seven.
”Just constantly put pressure, even sometimes with only three or four rushers, you still feel them,” Cousins said. ”I’ve always respected Malcolm Jenkins as a safety and really the entire unit. I think Jordan Hicks is a very good `Mike’ linebacker – he’s a smart player, you can tell he’s a good leader for them. Mychal Kendricks has always been a guy that plays fast, plays downhill.
”He’ll strike you. Just a lot of respect all the way around. Very versatile players that can do multiple things. It’s going to be a good challenge.”
MOVE THE CHAINS: Redskins tight end Jordan Reed and running back Chris Thompson are go-to guys on third down, helping prolong drives.
”Both very natural, great players,” Cousins said. ”I’m sure it helps to have other guys who complement them.”
INSIDE INFO: The Eagles signed quarterback Nate Sudfed to their practice squad after he was released by the Redskins. Sudfeld spent all of last year on Washington’s active roster. Surely, he’s sharing information about his old team.
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