Detroit Lions receiver Nate Burleson has a pretty firm opinion when it comes to Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant comparing himself to Calvin Johnson.
"Listen, I like Dez," Burleson told MLive.com’s Kyle Meinke. "I think he's one of the best receivers in the game right now. Very talented. Fast, big, strong. He possesses all the tools to possibly be as good as Calvin.
"But he's not Calvin Johnson. No way, no how. Sorry, Dez. Keep it real."
Bryant was "keeping it real" when asked about Johnson earlier this week.
Dallas will travel to face Detroit on Sunday, and two of the NFL’s best receivers will play at Ford Field. After Bryant was asked to compare his skills to Johnson's during an appearance on 103.3 FM ESPN in Dallas, he declined that request this past Monday. Bryant later explained why:
“I believe I can do whatever he can do,” Bryant said (c/o ESPN.com). “I think it’s just a pride thing. When it comes to football, just being on the field, it’s a mindset and having a mentality. I honestly believe when I’m there, I’ll be feeling like there’s nothing I can’t do. Whatever the coaches ask me to do, I’m going to do it.
“I always feel like there’s more. I always feel like there’s more. I think that’s just a mindset you’re supposed to have.”
And there is nothing wrong with Bryant’s sentiments.
Bryant never said he was better than Johnson, but believed he could match the NFL’s best receiver. Instead of saying he is “honored to be on the same field with Megatron”, Bryant simply explained he needed that mentality to be successful. There is nothing wrong with Bryant believing his talents equals Johnson's, which is what most elite athletes believe when asked about another player.
In reality, Johnson is the NFL’s best receiver, but Bryant is entitled to believe he is equally as gifted.
- - - - - - -