HENDERSON: Matt Pryor entered the NFL universe in 2018 when the Eagles selected the 6-foot-7, 332-pound tackle out of TCU in the sixth round of the NFL Draft.
He played a mostly back up roll with the Birds for three seasons before the Eagles traded Pryor to the Indianapolis Colts and a 2022 seventh-round pick for a 2022 sixth-round pick.
On March 16, 2022, Pryor signed a one-year contract extension worth $5.5 million with the Colts.
After the 2022 season, Pryor became a free agent and signed a 1 year, $1,130,000 contract with the San Francisco 49ers.
Through his five-year career, Pryor has appeared in 73 regular season games (24 starts) and started one postseason contest. In 2023, Pryor appeared in 13 games with the 49ers before being waived on December 25. Pryor was resigned on December 27, 2023.
Sunday he will play in his first-ever Super Bowl.
“It really took a minute to register after the conference championship,” Pryor told Footballstories at Thursday’s media session at the beautiful and scenic Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa in Henderson, Nevada, the team’s week-long headquarters. “Then it hit me…and even then, it didn’t click in my head until the day before we left that we were in the Super Bowl. It’s a great experience. I don’t even know how to put into words.”
Pryor came to the Eagles and was coached by the now legendary Jeff Stoutland…”Stoudland University” as Eagles tackle Jordan Mailata has named him.
His O-line coach now it Chris Foerster, who is in his first season as the team’s run game coordinator/offensive line coach. But the has been a 49ers coach for a long time. Foerster has been an assistant coach working with the offensive line since 2008.
He too has reached legend status with the bigs of San Fran.
Stoutland is a blocking guru to Pryor, right?
“That’s a fair to say,” Pryor said of the 62-year-old coach. “They’ve got a lot of similarities though. That’s why this offseason during free agency, there was no debate about where I wanted to go. It was here because of how deliberate, how strict he is getting the details down, proper footwork. There’s a lot of similarities to Stoutland. Which really made me want to be coached by Foerster.”
What did he take from his time with thr equally 62-year-old Stoutland?”
“I say the detail,” Pryor said. “And just that hungry dawg mentality that he always talks about…about the 10,000 reps you needs. All his training has stuck with me throughout my career. I’ve tried to transition that to whatever team or offense I’m playing with at the time.
"Every coaching theme is a little different. You’ve got to take those characteristics and put it into your game. Not every offense is going to be the same.
“The same teachings apply over here,” Pryor said. “It’s about the repetitions, a lot of repetitions, taking the proper angles until it becomes instinctive.”
Pryor talked about the jump to the NFL from college. He said it is quantum leap.
“It matters, especially when you go from the college level; where you’re not really developed fully,” Pryor said. “You’re not developed right for a lot of the schemes you are going to see. And college is no huddle. So it’s hard to take that angle and direction you’re going in, run angles, developing fronts for the line.”
Pryor said it is not the same challenge at the college level because the defensive lineman are not as fast or talented as those in the NFL.
“Not only that, he said. “When you get to the league, everybody’s scheme is different. In college, you treat every team the same, how you prepare, you’re just following the same plays. But when you get here, you’ve gotta scheme for the defense you’re going against all week.”
This will be the biggest preparation week of the 29-year-old’s career.
And maybe another graduate of Stoutland University will get a Super Bowl ring. *
Email Al Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org