Florham Park, N.J.– After having lost a couple of their own players from the practice squad to other teams, that felt they needed the players more, the Jets swooped in and signed defensive end Trevor Pryce.
The Ravens waived Pryce on Wednesday due to roster shuffling similar to what the Jets had to deal with in their practice squad moves. The Ravens were confident Pryce would be returning to them, but the Jets weren’t going to miss out on the chance to reunite Pryce with his former defensive coordinator.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said, “You’ve got roster issues that you deal with. It’s not something we wanted to do. Trevor is a big part of what we’re doing here, and we anticipate getting him back. It’s just what we had to do for now.”
Pryce is 35-years old in his 14th season and didn’t see any playing time this year in Baltimore, but one would think Rex Ryan has some ideas as to how to use him to help this defense.
Ryan is thrilled to have him and talked about how they had to double-check to make sure what they were seeing was correct when they saw the Ravens released him.
As the members of the media made their way to the locker room, they passed Ryan, owner Woody Johnson, GM Mike Tannenbaum and Pryce. Ryan joked that, there was “nothing to see here.”
Afterwards at his press conference Ryan said, “First off that big tall guy in there, yes that’s Trevor Pryce and yes we did sign him. We released Big Howard ( Green), but don’t worry I have a funny feeling Big How will be back.”
Interesting comment for Ryan to make considering the Ravens thought it was a safe bet that they would get Pryce back. Still it’s likely Green will be back with the Jets rather than signing with another team, unless someone can offer him starting playing time.
Ryan continued to explain the details that lead to the Jets signing Pryce, Ryan said, “We saw it as an opportunity, a window maybe. As soon as we saw they released him, we of course got a little excited about it. At first I was like, ‘no way he was released’, but when we found out that yes, it was true that he was released, so we started trying to get him here. You guys saw when he walked in, and all that kind of stuff, that he’s here and he’s signed and he’ll be playing this week.”
Ryan knows the Ravens hoped to have him back, but he thinks there was one minor flaw in their thinking that they could get him back. Ryan said, “Ozzie (Newsome Ravens GM) knows me well enough, that if you leave Trevor Pryce out there, that we’re going to try and bring him in. It’s as simple as that.”
Pryce will play this week, although it will be in a limited role. Ryan said, “I think he will be in, in passing situations. I definitely think he can get out there, and this guys a finisher. He’s a great pass rusher, very similar to Jason Taylor, except he’s an inside pass rusher.”
Ryan continued his praise of Pryce saying, “Go back and look at what I said about Trevor before we played him, I thought he’s the best, or if not the best one of the best, inside pass rushers in the game and I still believe that. So we just added a terrific player to go along with what we already have.”
The Ravens made the move to release Pryce because the d-line is the deepest part of their team and because of this Pryce hadn’t seen any playing time this year. Anyone who thinks he is done, would find themselves in a rather heated argument if they voiced those opinions to Ryan or some of the players here.
“I know when I watched him on last year’s tape, I watched him this year too, the things I was looking for is, can he still run? He can definitely still run, he got doubled a bunch, he’s a guy that’s going to take up two guys.” Ryan said, “If you block him with one, that’s when you’re kind of asking for it, but the great thing is you guys will get to see exactly what I’m talking about this week.”
Jason Taylor agreed with his coach saying, “As a defensive player and a pass rusher, you kind of know everyone else in the league that can do it well, and Trevor when he was in Denver he did it well, when he was in Baltimore he did it well and I know he can still play.”
Bart Scott was one of the happiest to see Pryce walk through the door as he gets to be reunited with his former teammate. Scott sat at his locker, as reporters approached him, with a giant smile on his face laughing saying, “Let me see if I can anticipate this question.”
The stand-up routine had just started to get under way for Scott as he was asked how much juice Pryce has left in the tank. Scott said, “He’s got more juice than O.J. baby… more juice than Tropicana, I wasn’t talking about Orenthal (O.J. Simpson), I was talking about about O.J.(still laughing), I need you all to be here with me.”
Scott was definitely shocked to see Pryce was available, but both Scott and Taylor will tell you what a great salesman Ryan is for this team.
“Very surprised. I think they had every intention on getting him back, but we beat them to the punch. I think that just shows you how much love people have for Rex.” Scott said, “I mean he’s willing to leave a football team, that’s competing for a playoff spot, possibly a Super Bowl spot to come to another one. Because of the leadership that Rex has and his relationship with Rex. I’m sure they had every intention of bringing him back, but he picked Rex.”
Jason Taylor said, “Rex has a way of talking guys into doing stuff, I’ll tell you what. It worked on me and it worked on Trevor. He’s a one of a kind individual, you know, the more your around him everyday, every week, every game you play with him you realize more and more how special he is and they don’t make people like Rex Ryan.”
Pryce was available to the media after he took care of all his paper work and he wasted no time explaining on why he chose to come to the Jets.
When asked if he told his agent that if Ryan comes calling say yes, Pryce said, “You know there’s certain things you don’t have to say. You know, like water is good for you, or don’t spend all your money in one place. There’s just certain unknown truths in life and that’s just one of them, so he knew that was going to happen, well at least he knew if Rex called that’s where I was going no matter what.”
For all the flack Ryan has caught in the media for his brash outspoken ways he sure seems to have a connection with any player he comes in contact with. The media can talk about how they don’t like Ryan’s brash style as much as they want, but as is becoming more apparent everyday the players love everything about the man.