Some viewed it as a professional breakout. Calvin Pryor established career highs last season with 71 tackles and six passes defended and he recorded the first three takeaways of his career. But the third-year player is thirsty for even longer strides this year.
"I had an okay season, but I can be better," he said. "When I got hurt last season, I felt like I missed out on a lot of opportunities, so I'm just looking to bounce back."
Pryor, who described his playing style as savage-like, is developing a reputation throughout the league for his physical play. He missed three games last season with a high-ankle sprain and his absence was noticeable from the secondary.
"I was born to play football. When I line up out there on that field, I feel like it's my sanctuary. That's where I let it all out," Pryor said. "It's a great position to play because sometimes you can be like a linebacker that's free."
As he continues to patrol the middle of the field, Pryor will play a pivotal role in containing opposing offenses for a defense that finished No. 4 overall last season.
"I know I'm going to be playing a lot of man to man with some great tight ends this year," he said. "I feel good about the scheme. I know where my help is now on the defense, so everything is coming together. I'm just looking to improve my skills and things I can be versatile with."