Safety Calvin Pryor says he’s the right type for Bears
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter April 15, 2014 10:09PM
Louisville defensive back Calvin Pryor runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) ORG XMIT: INMC10
Updated: May 17, 2014 6:41AM
Calvin Pryor and the Bears have the same reputation.
‘‘I bring a certain type of physicalness to the defense,’’ the Louisville safety told the Sun-Times on Tuesday. ‘‘The Bears are already known to be physical.
‘‘That playmaker ability, that’s what I can bring to the team. . . . If I get added to the team.’’
Projected to go in the top half of the first round in next month’s NFL draft, Pryor met with the Bears about two weeks ago. He came away impressed with coach Marc Trestman, general manager Phil Emery and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker.
‘‘It was a positive atmosphere,’’ he said. ‘‘The city loves their football team, and they’d love to make me an addition to the Chicago organization.’’
Whether Pryor is available at No. 14 — if the Bears choose to pick a safety over a lineman to boost their once-vaunted defense — is another question.
Pryor’s physicality and play-making, both in the middle of the field and in run support, would help the Bears, who are desperate for both. A first-team All-American as a junior last year, Pryor had three interceptions, two forced fumbles and 75 tackles. In 2012, he had 100 tackles and forced five fumbles.
The Bears have intimate knowledge of the 5-11, 207-pound Pryor; new assistant defensive line coach Clint Hurtt served as a Louisville assistant from 2010 to 2013.
Pryor, who is training in Louisville, was happy to visit with his old coach in Chicago.
‘‘The Bears definitely have playoff potential,’’ he said. ‘‘They’re missing certain pieces. I just want an opportunity to play in the NFL.’’
He’ll get it, probably early in the draft. Pryor has met with the New Orleans Saints, Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers and has three more meetings scheduled, including a trip to the Cincinnati Bengals on Wednesday.
‘‘You’re always busy taking visits and working out,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m really enjoying it — talking with everybody and seeing what they have to say about me.’’
The Bears are interested in the draft’s top two safeties: Pryor and Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who became fast friends at the NFL Scouting Combine.
‘‘He has to focus on him,’’ Pryor said, ‘‘and I’ve gotta focus on me. We talk all the time. We just gotta focus on us.’’
On Tuesday, the Bears waived defensive end Cheta Ozougwu, who appeared in seven games last season.
◆ Former Bears punter Adam Podlesh, let go in March, signed a one-year deal with the Steelers.