Calvin Pryor's rookie season was not what the New York Jets were looking for. The safety came into the NFL with high expectations and roller coaster results were produced. The Jets secondary was a mess last season and Pryor certainly contributed to the effort. After the team made several upgrades this offseason, Pryor has been put on notice for his second season, something he expects to be much better than last year.
The Jets signed Marcus Gilchrist in free agency and according to the New York Post, they intend to push Pryor back to strong safety. Head coach Todd Bowles made it clear that Pryor was expected to improve in his second season with New York or he could be seeing more of the bench than anything else. With the pressure on, the safety is not worried about his place on the team.
[The fans] got to see whatever I put out on film, but I can promise you, it will be nothing like last year," Pryor said, via ESPN.com. "You'll see me making more plays and me being back to my old self, attacking the football any time I get a chance. It makes my job a whole lot easier, man, having those guys who can eliminate the outside. It's a blessing to have those guys because I can learn a lot from them. Those guys have made numerous Pro Bowls and that's something I want to get accomplished. That's something I want to make happen."
The Jets signed Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie and Buster Skrine along with Gilchrist and all four players are expecting to be starters. The presence of the veterans is putting more players on notice than just Pryor. Dee Milliner is learning exactly what it means to compete for the job. The cornerback was originally drafted to replace Revis, but rookie struggles and a season-ending injury next saw that plan follow through. Now Revis and Cromartie are back and Milliner is facing trade rumors. The cornerback maintains he is confident and expects to be one of the best this year.
"Man, let them talk," Milliner said, via NJ.com. "Let them label me as they want to label me. I didn't get to this point for being a bust. I'm just going to go out and do what I can do, and just let the people talk if they want to talk. It doesn't upset me. You get criticized ever since you're a little kid, all the way up, playing football. It's just part of the game. Two years and 16 games, that's not enough" to pass complete judgment on a player."
The Jets' secondary is expected to improve in 2015. Revis and Cromartie will make sure of that. The question is whether or not Milliner and Pryor will contribute to that effort or watch it develop from the sidelines.