ASHBURN — Through just one week of Washington Redskins’ organized team activities, it seems as though Kirk Cousins-to-Terrelle Pryor Sr. is going to be a living highlight reel through training camp and beyond. Pryor, 6-4 and 223 pounds, is Hercules in shorts and, so far, Jay Gruden has been eager for Cousins to throw to him deep.
It’s a tantalizing combination. It’s not quite polished yet, though. Washington quarterbacks targeted Pryor on a number of deep routes in the Redskins’ first OTA session open to the media last Wednesday and Pryor failed to come down with a few of them, but give it time.
“There’s a lot different,” Pryor said. “You know, I’m bigger and my body movement is different than I’m sure some guys that [Cousins] played with. You know, he played with guys that are about 6-foot, 5-11, guys like that. I think the movement and how I run and how it’s deceptive, it’s kind of like, it doesn’t look like I’m really flying but I’m flying.”
Cousins’ top two wide receiver targets were Pierre Garcon (6-foot) and DeSean Jackson (5-10) last season. While Pryor doesn’t have the speed of a player like, say, Jackson, he does cover an awful lot of ground per stride.
It takes some getting used to, but Pryor’s size is certainly an asset.
“I think it’s an advantage in the sense that you have a larger catch radius,” Cousins said. “When a guy is quote-unquote covered, hopefully he is still open because you can throw him to a spot where maybe the defensive back can’t quite make a play.
“It is a little new for me, I haven’t had a ton of experience making throws like that, so it is one of the many things we will emphasize, work on and try to get a better feel for as we go through the offseason program.”
If Cousins-to-Pryor figures to be a fixture all season, Pryor vs. Josh Norman should be entertaining during training camp and in practices. Norman, who is 6-feet tall, doesn’t always have effusive praise for wide receiver types, but he readily explained why he or any other corner wouldn’t want to go against a receiver of Pryor’s size.
“It’s everything,” Norman said. “You’ve got a guy who’s 6-4 on 5-9, what do you think? He’s going to win 100 percent of the time. If that 5-9 guy wins, oh my gosh. He’s a titan for that one play but I’ll take that bet over him every time.”
Physically, Pryor and Cousins are still feeling each other out. Verbally, the two are in sync. Pryor’s experience playing quarterback in college and as a pro enables him to talk about throws, coverages and routes with Cousins from a quarterback’s perspective.
“I like it because I’ve never had a conversation with a receiver like I’ve had with him where he said, ‘Yeah, it was two-invert, so I took it to the post. It was quarters on the backside.’ He really can see it and he’s going to hold me accountable, so you take the good with the bad,” Cousins said. “I love it.”
Of course, Pryor’s quarterbacking experience also means he is quick to diagnose mistakes.
“He’s going to hold me accountable because he knows where the ball should go,” Cousins said.
Having Pryor, not to mention other tall additions at wide receiver in Brian Quick, Robert Davis and the now-healthy Josh Doctson, will change the routes and throws Cousins will rely on in 2017 (think of the fades!).
Right now, according to coach Jay Gruden, the priority is getting Pryor set with the fundamentals of the Washington playbook and route concepts — where he should take his splits and how he’ll be expected to come out of his breaks.
After that, the team will incorporate the jump balls and downfield throws Pryor is built for.
“Some of the back-shoulder fades, the opportunity balls that Terrelle really makes look easy that are harder to throw if you haven’t thrown them before,” Gruden said.
“Terrelle is a different target and gives us some different options down the field, but we do have to get him squared away on some of the fundamental route concepts that we have.”
Cousins and Pryor started getting to know each other during the offseason when the practiced in Tampa, Florida. If Pryor was able to catch for over 1,000 yards in Cleveland’s quarterback carousel last season, he should be able to excel once he establishes some consistency in Washington. Again, give it time.
“It’s different things like that he has to feel out and he will, like myself. I’ve got to keep on getting better too with the offense and with the nuances of the routes and stuff like that and I will,” Pryor said. “Second day.”