Dez Bryant: Just Carry the Pads

Just about a year ago, I remember watching the conclusion of a practice at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. It was Jim Mora’s first training camp, and Aaron Curry’s first practice.

Curry, who had been drafted fourth overall only months earlier, was a late arrival to training camp because of contract negotiations. For the fans, it was a pleasant sight when number fifty-nine finally ran out of the building and onto the practice field.

At the end of practice, Aaron Curry lugged the equipment of four or five players – both shoulder pads and helmets – to the fence line where fans had lined up. Dropping the equipment momentarily, Curry met with fans and signed autographs before he was summoned back to the training facility. Looking like someone who had enjoyed his brief exposure to the National Football League, Curry retrieved the equipment of his teammates and jogged off the practice field.

Curry was a rookie in the National Football League. Traditionally, rookies carry equipment off the field for the veterans.

Earlier this week in Dallas, however, rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant refused to follow tradition.

Are you kidding me? Dez, pick up the damn pads and stop complaining. As a rite of passage, more talented prospects and higher draft selections have done it before you.

I suppose we’re watching the next prima donna wide receiver develop before our eyes.

I understand carrying the shoulder pads of a veteran player is somewhat silly. Especially unreasonable in Bryant’s situation, where the pads belong to someone who you’re competing with for playing time. But it is tradition, and Dez Bryant is not more deserving or special than other rookies in the league.

Like Aaron Curry, Bryant’s accomplishments in college don’t matter anymore. His status as a first-round draft pick is irrelevant. In the NFL, Bryant is unproven; sometimes rookies need to be reminded of that after they’re compensated like superstars.

Since I don’t care much for the Dallas Cowboys, I don’t mind that Dez Bryant is averting tradition. I hope the Cowboys invested a first-round draft pick in a selfish, prima donna wide receiver who is talented, but problematic. Maybe there is a reason why so many other teams passed on Bryant, who was supposedly more talented than any other wide receiver in the 2010 draft.

But I also wouldn’t mind seeing Bryant dumped into a cold tub of ice or experience some additional rookie hazing since he avoided the easier route.

Some people will defend his actions, but I don’t see what his problem is. Amongst his peers in the NFL, Dez Bryant is just another guy who needs to prove his worth at the professional level.

Pick up the pads and get over yourself.

Shaun Dolence: [email protected]
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Tags: Aaron Curry Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant Jim Mora National Football League NFL Draft Pads Pete Carroll Rookie Seattle Seahawks Training Camp VMAC Wide Receiver

  • Hawkman

    This punk is T.O. reincarnate. At least T.O. can string together a complete sentence, however.

    He is an illiterate loser and couldn’t have gone to a better team than the Cowboys. Have fun, Tony.

  • Jrock

    It’s funny how everybody’s tampon is all twisted up over this thing. The guy was one of the first 1st rounders to sign, because he wanted to hurry up and get to camp with no drama for his team. He also had a tough upbringing, yet stayed away from drugs and gangs to consentrate on football. Hawkman, perhaps you have never realized it, but you are most certainly racist. Perhaps we should burn a cross in his yard? that way he knows he needs to learn how to talk like a white man

  • cowboynolesfan

    I am still on the fence with Dez but I will give him a fair chance unlike you, Shaun. Players do stupid things sometimes but that doesn’t make them a prima donna or anything of that sort. He has done just about everything else right and unselfishly. Remember back a few years when Eli Manning made a spectical of the NFL Draft by crying to the media that if he were selected by the Chargers and they didn’t trade him, he wouldn’t play and about a hundred more stories like this that everything turns out fine and the player works out OK. Calm down, Shaun, the season hasn’t even started yet. Geesh!

  • tbflchampionmatt

    I agree with everyone who says that Dez Bryant acted like a premadonna. Sure he signed early but don’t you think that is becasue he hasn’t played in about a year and needs to prove himself. I agree he is doing what he needs to by showing up early to the practice field and not causing problems but for him to act as if its beneath him to carry pads or helmets for veterans is a mistake. Then he tried to hide it by saying he didn’t know about the rookie hazing! Come on man. He went to college. He was a freshman. He knows all about it. The only difference is that when he acted all high and mighty and refused to do it in college the coaches allowed him to get away with it. He is telling the other players that he is too good to carry their stuff and this is the problem with paying rookies millions of dollars without having to prove themselves. He needs to learn AND earn respect from his teammates before he expects it. I do think the media is blowing this out of proportion but it does tell you about his character. Cowboynolesfan, it isn’t about not giving him a chance its the fact that these guys come in expecting to be treated like their sh*t don’t stink and people just accept it. The guy might be great but it doesn’t mean he has to act like he’s better than everyone else.