Former Tiger Re-Energized

Former Clemson defensive lineman Trevor Pryce has been has been a dominating force in the NFL in each of his first 5 seasons in the league. However last year, things just didn't seem to click. Hear what this former Tiger is trying to do to get back to an All-Pro level in this extensive report.

When it came to crunch time last year, Trevor Pryce felt like he was running on empty. This season, he and the Broncos will have more than Jake "The Snake" Plummer to energize them in the fourth quarter. Pryce, 15 pounds lighter and leaner, will hit the field with a more fuel-efficient body.

"My legs just got heavy. I couldn't get them to turn over no matter what I did," the Broncos defensive end said. "I was just out there trying to survive, running as fast as I can which was not as fast as I was in the first half. "That's what I want to get back to."

Pryce is down to 285, with three pounds to go to reach his target weight. He also has trimmed his body fat 3 to 4 percent, down to about 16 percent, and is way above the norm in terms of ability to pull an opponent out of the way.

Pryce played one season (1996) at defensive end for Clemson, starting all 11 games and earning first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors, after transferring from Michigan where he played linebacker in 1993-94.
"He looks quick out here right now, very quick, and agile," Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist said. "He looks explosive."

While Sundquist believes the presence of workhorse defensive tackle Daryl Gardener may be motivating everyone, strength coach Rich Tuten said Pryce actually made the decision to slim down long before Gardener came on the scene. "We talked in December with a couple of games left about the fact that he wanted to (lose) weight and get in better shape," Tuten said.

"Trevor is his own man. He motivates himself. He's an exceptional athlete and he knows how he feels at the top of his game. He doesn't need to be told."

Pryce typically lined up at left end last year, or at tackle in various nickel packages. This season, he could be anywhere, with the ends lining up depending on the strength of the call.

"It may start to look like a Chinese fire drill out there," Sundquist said of opponents flip-flopping the tight end to keep Pryce at bay.

Late last season, despite heading to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl - including his first after making the transition from tackle to end - Pryce knew the burst wasn't there. While he's still trying to get a feel now for his new body, he expects the changes will pay off down the road.

"I know I will be stronger this year in the fourth quarter. I'm going to make sure I am," said Pryce, who will turn 29 this summer. While pumped about his own workouts, Pryce is even more jazzed at some of the changes under new defensive coordinator Larry Coyer.

Pryce especially likes Coyer's emphasis on rushing the quarterback. "We actually get to rush the passer, which is a big difference," the former Clemson star said.

"We didn't get to do that last year. I free-lanced everything I did because if I did exactly what they were asking me to do, I'd never get near the quarterback. "Now the thing is completely changed." Top Stories