Dez Bryant stopped past the Ben and Skin Show yesterday, to discuss a few of things about his off season. As usual, ears perk up when Bryant speaks; as being the heir apparent to the elite wide receiver throne comes with plenty of attention. If it seems that Dez's short career has encompassed more than the usual amount of news reporting (some worth it, some trivial), it has. Earlier this summer I wrote about how great it will be once football returns for a person that has received the unofficial label of 'that guy'. It seems Dez is ready to get on that path as well.
Sportsradiointerviews.com was able to transcribe the highlights of the interview here. Dez is currently working out with Indianapolis Colts cornerback Jacob Lacey. That would seem to indicate that his ankle is back to full strength, if he's able to go out and compete in one on ones on a repeated basis.
How are you feeling health wise?
"I feel great. In my honest opinion I think that my ankle is fine, but whenever the lockout is over with I am going to go in and let Jim [Maurer] look at my ankle and see how it is and I am going to go from there."
Are you taking the ankle slow or going full speed if the lockout were to be lifted?
"Like I said in my opinion I feel I can roll with it now, but if Jim [Maurer] says to take it slow I am going to take it slow. If it’s up to me I am going full speed. I only know one speed and that is full speed."
So what do these one-on-one drills with Jacob Lacey of the Colts entail that you are doing today?
"We are going to go out to a high school field and we are going to do some football drills and do some one-on-one’s and as a matter of fact. We are going to do some one-on-one’s and get right until the lockout is over with."
Ben continued the interview and relayed a story about last year's training camp, where Bryant was still in his recovery ankle boot. Dez, who has some of the biggest mitts ever seen, was apparently making some one handed stationary catches. Bryant would jokingly respond that he might be the league's best receiver when wearing a boot.
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As all married men (or one's involved in long term relationships) know, a good woman can slow you down from those activities that can get you in trouble. Ben referred to a recent tweet by Dez about finding the right woman, and that led to the TMZ-type conversation about athlete relationships. For those that associate being in a stable relationship with football focus, Dez is on his way to getting serious. OK, back to football.
The relationship topic did spurn an interesting angle, that Dez and recently married Martellus Bennett have a close teammate relationship. Dez stated that Marty B was very instrumental in Bryant's becoming comfortable with all the media and fan scrutiny. I'm all for the lessons learned perspective, though there was nothing in Marty B's first few years in the league that would lead me to believe that's the best bug to be chirping in Dez's ear.
"Marty let me know about his…the way he came into the league when everybody was up on him. He was just trying to keep me calm with all of this and to stayed focused on football."
Do you find it interesting that everyone is trying to find out everything that is going on with you off the field and get in your business? Is it a nuisance to you?
"Coming in I am one of those guys that I’m not going to lie I hate the after session [with the media]. I hate it. Now I look at is as people are going to say whatever they want to say. I just gotta learn with what I feel like saying that I have to keep moving forward as long as possible. The true fans around me that will see me doing the positive things and that’s the only thing that matters."
So that's why Dez hasn't responded to my interview requests. I kid, I kid.
The interview went on to discuss David Wells, Bryant's apparent true mentor. For all the publicity Deion Sanders has sought over his failed attempts to help shape Dez's off field career, it might just be David Wells who deserves the credit if Bryant has truly matured. Wells is whom Dez stayed with in preparation for the NFL Draft, and the former private investigator and current bail bondsman remains instrumental in Dez's personal development. Dez says the two have a great relationship despite some disagreements, but knows that Wells wants the best for him.
For the full radio interview with the Ben and Skin Show, click here.