Terrelle Pryor wants to forget '17, but Redskins won't let him

"The boys are going to have it out for him," Redskins linebacker Zach Brown said of practicing this August with the Jets and former teammate Terrelle Pryor, pictured. "Oh, man, I can't wait to see that." AP Photo/Julio Cortez

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Terrelle Pryor's one season with the Washington Redskins was a bust. Playing on a one-year, prove-it deal, he didn't prove anything. He tore his right ankle ligament in Week 1, played hurt for half the season and then shut it down for surgery.

Despite no impact on the field, Pryor apparently left a strong impression on his former teammates -- and not a favorable one.

Some of the defensive players didn't appreciate his showmanship in practice -- such as his one-handed catches -- and they will be looking for payback when they face Pryor and his new team, the New York Jets, in joint practices Aug. 12-14 in Richmond, Virginia.

"The boys are going to have it out for him," Redskins linebacker Zach Brown said last week on WTEM-AM The Team 980 in Washington. "Oh, man, I can't wait to see that."

Recalling last season, Brown made it sound like the defense was prevented from teaching Pryor a lesson on the field because of a "do-not-touch" edict handed down by Redskins coach Jay Gruden. Brown expects a different story in the joint practices.

"We can put hands on him now," Brown said. "Jay was protecting [Pryor]. Now we can get physical. The boys were already hot for what he was doing last year; they just couldn't put their hands on him. Jay won't be there to save you. ... You're going to catch a forearm right under the ribs."

Presumably, there will be no homecoming parties for Pryor, who managed only 20 catches in nine games after a 77-catch, 1,007-yard season with the Cleveland Browns. Betting on his upside, the Jets signed him to a one-year, $4.5 million contract -- yes, another prove-it deal. He's not off to a great start. He didn't participate in any offseason practices because of arthroscopic surgery on the same ankle, and he is considered questionable for the start of training camp.

Nevertheless, Pryor expects to have a big year, after claiming that last season was an aberration and a learning experience.

"I couldn't focus on my game because I was worried about my foot," he said at the conclusion of last week's minicamp. "It took control of my mind. Right now, I'm healthy" -- well, not really -- "and ready to get back to form and have a dominant year."

Pryor, who will turn 29 on Wednesday, is less than five years removed from his days as a quarterback, so you have to believe he still hasn't reached his ceiling. The former Ohio State star is 6-foot-4 with terrific athleticism, and it's hard to find guys like that. But now his twice-repaired ankle has to be a concern.

"Tearing my deltoid [ligament] was horrible, just horrible for me," he said, reflecting on last season. "I was going out there from Week 1 all the way to Week 6 or 7 when I was playing, and there were times when I just fell on my face after running routes. It was so hard. Eventually, after Week 7, I said I can't do it anymore. So that's when I decided to get the surgery."

The Jets could really benefit if Pryor brings a healthy ankle and healthy attitude into the season. New York receivers coach Karl Dorrell complimented Pryor on his approach, saying he attended every meeting despite his inability to practice. On the field, Pryor seemed eager to participate, hanging out with the rest of the receivers -- in his walking boot -- and serving in somewhat of a ball-boy role.

"I love it here," Pryor said. "I'd like to finish my career here. I want to come out and have a great year, and I believe I will."

Once thing is certain: He'll be a marked man on his return to the D.C. area in August.