July 26, 2010
Veteran wide receiver Roy Williams was expected to clash with rookie Dez Bryant(notes) in competition for playing time at Dallas Cowboys training camp. I guess they're going to be clashing over some other stuff, too.
It's tradition at training camps for vets to make the rookies carry their pads after practice. Things like that have been going on as long as the NFL has existed. Rookies carry pads. Rookies get donuts. Rookies sing their school fight songs in front of everyone. Rookies are in the back of the line for everything.
After practice Sunday, though, Williams attempted to give Bryant his pads, but Bryant wasn't having it. He let Williams know he could carry his own pads. From Tim McMahon at ESPNDallas.com:
"I'm not doing it," Bryant said. "I feel like I was drafted to play football, not carry another player's pads."
"If I was a free agent, it would still be the same thing. I just feel like I'm here to play football. I'm here to try to help win a championship, not carry someone's pads. I'm saying that out of no disrespect to [anyone]."
Yeah, I think you're going to want to carry those pads, young man. You can tote some pads now, or be duct-taped to a field goal post later.
Every player on that team went through something unpleasant their rookie year, and if you think they're going to let you skate by because you made a few plays in college, I think you're probably wrong.
I'm not saying what the veterans do is right — hazing should have its limits. But what exactly is your plan, Dez, to take on the entire institution of rookie hazing in the NFL? I don't think that's going to work out well for anyone.
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