There are a few things we know about the players on the Bengals’ defensive unit: they’re athletic, they are physical and they play with emotion. Aside from Vontaze Burfict, few players on the entire team play with the animated passion of cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick and Adam Jones.
“He pushes off, every route. He’s an OK receiver,” Jones said, via The Cincinnati Enquirer. “They do feature him a little bit so he does get more looks than a guy who would be in his situation. He’s just a guy to me. I don’t like him.”
After Jones and Kirkpatrick joined forces to shut down Pryor to the tune of one catch for three yards in the Bengals’ 23-10 win against the Browns, more talk ensued.
“What’s the guy's name again?” Kirkpatrick asked a Cleveland reporter, via The Cincinnati Enquirer. ““How do you say it? Terrelle. Trash man? Oh. Oh. Yeah. It was good. We had fun with him today. I feel like we did our job, went out there and executed the plays. So hey, job well done by the Bengals.”
Apparently, the ill will from the Bengals’ corners stems from a comment Pryor made to Bengals defensive coordinator, Paul Guenther before the teams’ Week 7 matchup. According to Jones, via Dayton Daily News, the former Ohio State standout told Guenther he’d get Jones cut after the results of Week 7 at some point before the contest. Pryor had two catches for 18 yards in that game, marking his first of two unimpressive efforts against the Bengals’ defense.
“One catch for 3 yards. What’s his name? Trash,” Jones said following the Bengals’ sweep of the Battle of Ohio, for the second straight season. “We like to play around. He was our teammate. A lot of this is fun and games. At the end of the day, what the guy’s done, changing positions like that, I tip my hat off to him. But you can’t talk to the guys that have been doing it for a long time.”
Jones did explain that it wasn’t him who started the trash talk between he and Pryor,
“He started this (stuff) the first time we played,” Jones said. “(Pryor) don’t have no respect for people who done paved the way before him. He’s got to be the alpha dog.”
Jones wasn’t done though. He had plenty more to say about Pryor, clearly angered by the Browns’ receiver’s decision to talk to Guenther prior to Week 7.
“It’s just the principle of you’ve been playing for so long and you’ve put in your work and you’ve young guys talking (expletive) who haven’t done (expletive),” Jones added. “We took it personal. I know me and Dre did, personally, for a guy to personally go to my coordinator (Paul Guenther) and tell me he’s going to get me cut after the game.”
To be clear, Jones doesn’t have an issue with the rest of the Browns’ receiving corps. “The rest of them are real good,” Jones said. “Pryor sucks.”
If you remember, Pryor was with the Bengals last summer before joining the Browns. After trying out at quarterback, the coaching staff attempted to transition Pryor to wide receiver. He balked at the idea, and after getting no takers for his services as a signal-caller, he decided to give playing receiver a shot a try with the Browns.
It’s been a good first year of the experiment. Despite the two poor games against the Bengals and a carousel of quarterbacks throwing him the football this year, Pryor now has 63 catches for 858 yards and four touchdowns.
While that stat line might bring some Bengals (and Buckeyes) fans to wish Pryor was playing receiver for Cincinnati this year, Jones and Kirkpatrick are proving they are still among the top cornerback duos in the NFL. For now, Cincinnati’s stars in the secondary have the better of this positional battle.