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Safety Development Not Just Resting On Pryor

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Calvin Pryor has the highest mountain to climb this summer, but he's not the only one being developed on the back-end.

Rich Schultz

Calvin Pryor has made quite a splash this week. After missing the first week of OTA's because of some troublesome wisdom teeth, the 'Louisville Slugger' has been running with the one's and learning on the go. He's also been making his feelings quite clear on the New York Giants, New England Patriots and Tom Brady.

However Pryor is running with the one's with Antonio Allen, not Dawan Landry. Don't read too much into that for opening day, we are merely trying to get Allen to communicate more with Pryor. Spotting him with the rookie will ensure he is the one communicating the coverages.

Rex had a very interesting quote on the safety tandem at the moment:

"I've got to get these other two to work together and communicate together. So, that's why you throw him out there. You leave him out there with the ones and let's see what happens. Make him communicate with the other guys that are working. And we'll see how it goes. But, I think that's good and I think it's good that Double A (Antonio Allen) is out there too. We know he needs to step up and communicate better, so we're putting him in that situation. Because who's the rookie going to lean on? He's going to look over at his partner. And if Landry is out there, you have a tendency to just let him run everything. So, as we call him, Tom. I think that's kind of why we do that."

I've been a fan of Allen since we drafted him from South Carolina, however his transition was always going to be more difficult because he didn't play the prototypical safety roll in college. Ryan commented in December last year that Allen was playing at such a high level he needed to get him on the field more. Dawan Landry turns 32 this year, so it's going to be very interesting to see how much playing time Allen and Pryor get as if it works out nicely, they could be our safety combination for several years.

However it can't be understated how important communication is when you are the last line of defense. One missed call, one poorly communicated coverage scheme and you're looking at the opposition putting 7 points on the board. I do like hearing that we are trying to work these two together to get them used to each other, even if it is in OTA's where there is no contact and Pryor is still trying to learn the playbook. He has spoken recently about how the Jets defense is very similar to the one he played in during his time at Louisville, the main difference is the Jets defense is a lot more attacking and the terminology is different.

The safety position is definitely one to look out for over the coming months.