JACKSONVILLE – This is what Terrelle Pryor Sr. wanted.
“When the Jags called, I was excited,” he said.
Pryor, a veteran wide receiver, signed with the Jaguars as a free agent Monday morning. He spoke to the media Tuesday following the Jaguars’ organized team activities practice and discussed signing with his ninth NFL team in eight seasons.
“I was trying to wait for the right spot,” Pryor said Tuesday afternoon following OTA Day 8 practice at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex adjacent to TIAA Bank Field. “Everybody was bothering me, ‘When are you going to sign? Are you playing?’ I was patiently waiting.”
Pryor, who began his career as a quarterback before moving to wide receiver, played for the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills this past season. He said the Jaguars were the right fit for several reasons.
One was wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell. Another was new quarterback Nick Foles.
Perhaps the biggest reason was a chance to play in an organization led by Jaguars Executive Director of Football Operations Tom Coughlin – who began his NFL career as a wide receivers coach with the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers and New York Giants.
Pryor had tried out for the New York Giants in 2015 after being released by the Cleveland Browns when Coughlin was the head coach of the Giants.
“I was excited because I knew about Coughlin’s history with receivers,” Pryor said. “When I worked out and he didn’t sign me, I was kind of bummed out. It’s Round 2. Hopefully, I can get acclimated and make him proud for giving me this opportunity.”
Pryor, who began his NFL career as a quarterback with the Oakland Raiders from 2011-2013, also played quarterback in brief stints with Seattle, Kansas City and Cincinnati. He switched to wide receiver, and – after re-signing with the Browns late in 2015 – caught a career-high 77 passes for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns in 2016.
“I think he just wants an opportunity,” Jaguars wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell said of Pryor. “That’s the biggest thing, to show people that his 1,000-yard season wasn’t a fluke and he still can play. I think if I was a player, or any player, they just want an opportunity to show people that they still can play.”
Pryor following the 2016 season signed as an unrestricted free agent with Washington. He caught 20 passes for 240 yards in 2017 that season before being placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury.
“The problem for me the past two years was really my foot,” he said. “After I tore my ankle two years ago, it was just so hard stopping and starting. Finally, it’s to the point where I have no pain and feel no stoppage on my ankle.
“I thank God for giving me the opportunity to come back and be able to have my foot exactly how I feel. It feels good. I’m happy about that.”
Pryor played for Jaguars offensive coordinator John DeFilippo twice previously in two different capacities – when DeFilippo was the quarterbacks coach and Pryor was a quarterback in Oakland in 2012 and when DeFilippo was offensive coordinator and Pryor was a wide receiver in Cleveland in 2015.
“It helps a lot,” Pryor said. “There are a couple of things I look at and say, ‘Flip’s trying to grow a little bit of that playbook.’ He’s a very sharp, smart guy. I love playing for him and always did. I don’t have enough words to say about Flip. He’s a great coach, a great guy. I believe we’ll have success here with him. He’s a hard worker and we’re all going to work hard for him.”