Terrelle Pryor Sr. got benched last Monday against the Eagles, and on Friday night, he issued an apology to his Redskins teammates and fans for his inconsistent play.
Posting via his Instagram Story, Pryor wrote:
I owe to the fans and teammates a sorry for being inconsistent with a lot of stress I brought onto myself for the loss of focus... not personal life but at work reasons. Ready to be the beast I know I am. Looking forward to Sunday.
In another post, Pryor explained a bit more:
I'm use to the rock in my hand early and often. I have great teammates and understand it's not realistic with the great talent we have. That's something that's tough and a ongoing battle in my own mind. And I'm ready to control that focus and get back to pinning my ears back and playing ferocious how I know how! I'm ready.
Through six games, Pryor has18 catches for 223 yards with one touchdown. Coming into the season, many fans and media thought Pryor was poised for a true breakout season. He caught 77 balls for 1,007 yards playing with bad quarterbacks on a terrible Browns team.
The consensus was Pryor playing with Kirk Cousins and a sound Redskins offense would mean even more productivity. The problem, however, is that Pryor is still learning to play wideout after a career spent at quarterback. It's just his second full-year at WR, and in Cleveland last season, Pryor was targeted 140 times. In the construct of the Washington offense, there were never going to be 140 targets for any one player.
With fewer targets, Pryor needed to be precise, and that hasn't happened either. Drops have been an issue, and working with an exacting QB like Cousins, route running and timing become imperative. Those things have compounded from a slow start to an eventual seat on the bench in the first half against the Eagles.
Pryor deserves credit for a mature attitude after his benching. In the locker room following the game, he voiced his support for coach Jay Gruden's decision and talked up his replacement Josh Doctson (see full video above). Even with his Instagram apology, Pryor is taking ownership of the situation and not trying to deflect blame.
It would be premature to think Pryor's opportunities with the Redskins are already over. Though he's playing on a one-year deal and will again be a free agent after this season, Gruden believes the Redskins can still get more from Pryor.
"It’s not like we’re losing faith in anybody," the coach said. "We have faith in all our receivers to win one-on-one matchups and run the right coverage, run the right routes and all that stuff and make plays when the ball is distributed to them. It’s just a matter of trying to get everybody happy here. It’s hard. They’re all worthy of playing, but they all have to wait their turn and be patient and when their number is called, produce."
The NFL is a bottom line business. Produce and you're loved. It hasn't happened yet for Pryor, but with 10 games left, maybe it will.
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