The quarterback and wide receiver duo has been working together throughout the offseason, but after two preseason games, they still need to enhance their rapport.
The pursuit to get better has been the driving force behind the last year for Terrelle Pryor Sr., switching positions to wide receiver and looking to take the next step in his career on a new team with a quarterback he's still adjusting to.
That's been made clear throughout most of this offseason and training camp, as both have made continual efforts to improve their games by learning from each other's perspective and taking time for more reps after practice. Wednesday offered another good example.
During drills, Pryor caught a pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins, and while the connection looked clean, something felt a little off for the wide receiver.
"As soon as we got done with practice, I came over to Kirk and I was like 'Hey, let's get this route,' and he was like 'Man, you read my mind. I was about to grab you,'" Pryor said. "We started hitting it and then we started clicking and making it work and we started hitting them every time."
The post-practice activity lasted for about 30 minutes, and it's the kind of work that Pryor believes should be endemic to the way professionals train. "If you know that something isn't right, and then you don't fix it, you really aren't pros and you really don't take this job seriously."
That mindset is what has propelled Pryor this offseason, evidenced in his countless workout videos he posted over the summer, and it's also what fuels Cousins, who has needed to adjust to a new batch of receivers. Particularly, the workouts have been about timing, accounting for different types of coverages and adjusting accordingly.
For example, Pryor said, he knows that when cornerbacks will throw press and bump coverage, Cousins will take a hitch in his dropback knowing it will take Pryor a little longer to find separation from his defender.
This kind of work makes sense, especially considering that Pryor's only caught one pass on three targets in two preseason games. Their preparation for those games was limited in terms of studying their opponents, and Pryor was surprised by some of the coverages the Ravens threw at them in just a couple of series.
"When we came out against the Ravens…they had safeties rolling over top double-teaming me, they had the safety double teaming me and nobody on top of the other guy," Pryor said. "I didn't expect that in the preseason, so little things like that happen that you weren't expecting."
This is the rationale for not panicking about the first-team offense's sluggish starts. Pryor pointed to the Giants, whose own offense has struggled even as it is expected to do big things this season, too. Pryor thinks there should be some bigger improvements against the Bengals this Sunday.
"When you start game-planning, this is where we're going, we're going to TP on this play, we're going to Jamison [Crowder], we're going to Jordan [Reed] on this play, this is the matchup we're looking forward," Pryor said. "We get in the game, it's there, now it's up to us to win it, catch the ball and make the play. Right now we're running plays and we just want to get better. We just want our rhythm a little better, but we're game planning a little right now so we should come out fire on Sunday."
Cousins has appreciated Pryor's approach and it's rubbed off on his own work ethic.
"I think we've said it all along that one of the benefits of working with Terrelle is that he just really loves football," Cousins said. "And that's evident with the fact that he wants to stay after practice, he wants to talk about the routes and the nuances of it. I think, again, what some of the stuff we're working on goes back to the fact that, as good as he is, as talented as he is, there's still a lot more there. We think that as he continues to fine tune and understand what we want to do here in our offense, he hopefully can just keep getting better and better. I enjoy playing with him and I take it upon myself to get him the football, give him opportunities. He's so talented, and he has such a good heart and works so hard, I want to make sure he's given a chance to be really successful and have a great year this year."
In other words, there's nothing special happening here except in the desire to keep grinding and getting better than before -- to hit the ground running, in sync and ready for the Eagles.
"You just want to go back over it and make sure we've got it down," Pryor said. "So when we get into the Week 1 and get into game time, serious time, it's all clicking, we can just go."