Jeannette’s Demetrious Cox hopes to earn stripes with Bengals
While Demetrious Cox has other things lined up for after football, the former Jeannette standout is far from ready to begin the descent on his pro career.
Cox is set to begin training camp this weekend with the Cincinnati Bengals after spending most of last season on the team’s practice squad.
Camp opens Saturday at Welcome Stadium in Dayton — for the first time in 16 years without coach Marvin Lewis in charge (Zac Taylor, 36, is now the lead man).
As a 25-year-old safety and cornerback, Cox knows how vital this camp will be to assure staying power and a spot on the 53-man roster.
“I would be very disappointed to stop playing the game at this point,” Cox said.
His NFL resume — and numbers — are slight, but Cox thinks he can add to it come the fall. He has appeared in four career games, all with the Carolina Panthers.
According to Bengals.com, Cox looked good in offseason workouts with a few pass breakups and pickoffs. But the former Michigan State defensive back knows camp is a much different animal, and he’ll have to earn his keep.
“This offseason has been a good one,” he said. “I had a good spring, got to know the coaches and the new system and I feel good headed into camp. I’ve had a completely healthy offseason, and that’s always important. I also feel I’m in great condition, which will help me later in the process.”
Cincinnati signed Cox (6-foot, 200 pounds) two years ago, but he was only able to stay on with the practice team. He had the same position with the Panthers and Arizona Cardinals.
He signed a reserve/futures contract with the Bengals in December, giving him hope the team wants to see him take on a greater role.
“I love what I do, and I come to work with that mentality every day,” Cox said. “I think my level of talent and work ethic belongs on an NFL roster — 100 percent.”
Cox has been active in the offseason with the nonprofit business he and his father, Dorsey, have started, Educated Athletes First. The organization helps prepare aspiring college students and their parents for the next level.
Pryor with Jacksonville
Another Jeannette product, NFL journeyman Terrelle Pryor, has begun training camp with his ninth pro team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Pryor, a 6-4, 230-pound converted wide receiver, signed a one-year contract last month.
He spent last season with the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills but was plagued by injuries. Pryor, who turned 30 on June 20, had 16 catches for 252 yards and two touchdowns last year, bringing his career stats to 115 receptions for 1,563 yards and 11 touchdowns.
The former Ohio State quarterback had a breakthrough 1,000-yard receiving in 2016 with the Cleveland Browns.
Pryor will reunite with Jaguars offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, who was Cleveland’s offensive coordinator when Pryor played there for two seasons. DeFilippo also coached Pryor for a year in Oakland.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .