AFC East: Dez Bryant

IRVING, Texas -- When Dominique Easley walked in for his interview at the NFL scouting combine last February, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett offered a handshake and hello.

"Dominque, nice to meet you," Garrett said.

Easley quickly responded, "Coach, I've met you already. I came to your camp at Princeton University when I was in high school."

[+] EnlargeDominique Easley
AP Photo/Steven SennePatriots No. 1 pick Dominique Easley attended Jason Garrett's football camp in New Jersey while in high school.
Every June Garrett holds a football camp for kids from the area at his alma mater in New Jersey. Easley attended Curtis High School in Staten Island, New York, and made the drive to Princeton.

Last weekend, Easley served as a counselor at Garrett's camp along with Cowboys Dez Bryant, Morris Claiborne and DeMarco Murray, as well as former Cowboys running back Phillip Tanner.

If things worked out a little differently Easley could have been a Cowboy, but the New England Patriots took him with the 29th pick in the first round.The Cowboys had him in for a pre-draft visit because they liked him as a player and they wanted to check out this surgically-repaired knee.

"The Easley story is a really good story," Garrett said. "He talked to the kids and when he stands up there, there is the 29th pick in the first round and he said, ‘I sat in that seat five years ago, so don't tell me you can't do this.' And there's another kid there every year named Freddie Santana, who also sat in those seats. He ended up going to Holy Cross, graduated from there, was their team captain and was selected for Teach for America and did a couple of years down in Atlanta. Now he's teaching in Brooklyn. The big challenge with those kids, there's about 300 of them, and they come from really tough places. So the idea that they belong and can do something like this, you put Dominque Easley up there, you put Freddie Santana up there and say, ‘I was in Row 3 five years ago,' I think it's effective."

Easley's team ended up winning the round-robin 6-on-6tournament.

"He won when he was a player and he won as a coach, so that was the big story line," Garrett said.

The football is a nice component of the camp, but Garrett hopes something bigger develops. Perhaps in the future he will meet another graduate of his camp at the combine.

"We've got them for 10 hours one day out of the year, but I challenge our coaches," Garrett said. "I tell them, ‘I believe we can make a difference in these kids' lives, OK, so they're going to show up here at 8 and we're going to send them on their way tonight at 6 and we have this window to try to make a difference.' We try to say the right things, do the right things and hopefully make some kind of impact."

Dez Bryant needs the ball

November, 24, 2013
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At some point today, the Dallas Cowboys have to make sure Dez Bryant gets involved in the game. I'm not talking about just three or four catches against the New York Giants late Sunday afternoon.

I'm talking about meaningful plays.

[+] EnlargeDez Bryant
Andrew Weber/USA TODAY SportsDez Bryant needs to challenge the Cowboys' game planners Sunday, but in a constructive way.
The theme around Bryant these days is, he'll get a few catches but for the most part be double-covered which eliminates more opportunities.

That's an excuse.

It was funny listening to coach Jason Garrett talk the other day about Bryant's only catch against the New Orleans Saints, a 44-yarder.

Garrett said despite getting the ball to Bryant for one play, it was a big one.

Bryant's talent affords the Cowboys an explosive presence in the passing attack. He needs the ball more.

This week in practice, the Cowboys worked on getting Bryant the ball in tight spaces, something quarterback Tony Romo isn't trying to do on game days.

That could change against the Giants.

"We are targeting him but getting him open and making sure he has catchable opportunities, that's a huge factor," offensive coordinator Bill Callahan said. "We've considered that. We've worked hard to try to move him around this week and put him in quite a few different locations."

The return of Miles Austin from a hamstring injury shouldn't matter to the Cowboys. Sure, he can open the door for Bryant and tight end Jason Witten to make plays in the passing game, but the reality is Bryant needs the ball.

The Giants have spoken all week about how Bryant doesn't like to get touched. It's laughable really because Bryant is one of the more physical receivers in the league.

"You know, whatever gets them motivated, all I know is Sunday, I'm going to play my game," he said.

He loves the contact and plays up to it. In his first two seasons in the NFL, Bryant would almost wrestle the defenders who were trying to tackle him to the ground.

Bryant is going to be challenged Sunday by the secondary but more importantly, he needs to challenge Callahan and Romo to get him the ball. We're not talking about sideline antics or any of those things. He needs to point out what he's seeing on the field and make sure everyone is on the same page.

Maybe Garrett is going to change some things by telling Romo to force-feed the ball to Bryant. Callahan said he's proud that Romo's thrown only six interceptions this season, and he should be.

Callahan should also be looking for ways to get one of his top targets more opportunities to get the ball. One of his top threats has just 10 catches the last three games and has four games with fewer than five receptions. In the loss to the Saints, Bryant was targeted just twice and while he was covered tightly, the Cowboys didn't do enough to help him get open.

I'm sure Callahan is calling plays for Bryant to become the No. 1 option, but Romo is focusing away from him quickly. It needs to be different Sunday. Much different.

"Very excited about our game plan," Bryant said. "Not only me, but everybody. We're going to go out here and try to execute these plays the best way we possibly can."
Somewhere, Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland might feel vindicated this week.

Two years ago, Miami was one of the teams showing interest in drafting Bryant in the first round. But character concerns led to Ireland infamously questioning Bryant and his mother's background.

The news of Ireland's perceived personal attack of Bryant became public, and it's been a stain on Ireland's public image ever since. Bryant was later drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, while the Dolphins selected defensive end Jared Odrick.

The talented yet troubled Bryant has had several minor off-the-field incidents since being drafted. But this weekend's transgression could be the biggest. Bryant was arrested on charges of allegedly assaulting his mother. Angela Bryant made a 911 call alleging her son physically attacked her and hinted that it wasn't the first time this has happened.

"I can't keep letting him do this," Angela Bryant reportedly said on the 911 call. "I can't keep letting him do me like this. I'm tired. I'm going to put an end to it today."

Dez Bryant is innocent until proven guilty. But the Dolphins had concerns about Bryant’s relationship with his mother years ago, and it’s part of the reason why he does not play in Miami.

The Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones thought they got a first-round gem because of his immense talent. But two years later, Ireland and the Dolphins are looking smarter with Bryant facing potential legal ramifications and a possible NFL suspension.

Final Word: AFC East

September, 9, 2011
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NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 1:

[+] EnlargeC.J. Spiller
Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty ImagesRunning back C.J. Spiller could help Buffalo slow down Kansas City's pass rush.
Handling Hali: Something to watch carefully when Buffalo visits Kansas City is how the Bills handle linebacker Tamba Hali. If left alone, he will torment Bills left tackle Demetrius Bell. If Buffalo designates a tight end next to Bell to assist with Hali or assigns a running back to chip him, that leaves the rest of Buffalo’s protection scheme vulnerable against pass-rushers Justin Houston, Glenn Dorsey and Wallace Gilberry. Kansas City also has a strong secondary. I have a hard time believing that Buffalo will have much success through the air this week. One guy who could really help their cause if used properly is running back C.J. Spiller.

Inexperienced Cowboys: Dallas visits the Jets on Sunday night. This is a terrible matchup for the Cowboys’ offense. Instead of older, heavy-footed road graders up front, the Cowboys' offensive line has an influx of athletic, but very young, starters. This could pay off in time, because they should be much better equipped to pass-block and get out on the screens and draw plays that favor Felix Jones. But for now, I expect huge growing pains. Ultra-talented Cowboys first-round pick Tyron Smith will not play because of a knee injury. I expect Dallas’ protection schemes to have plenty of breakdowns. That is an awful situation against a defense coached by Rex Ryan. Compounding matters for the Cowboys are the matchups on the perimeter. Miles Austin and Dez Bryant are as good a pair of starting wideouts as you will find. But Austin isn’t 100 percent healthy, and Darrelle Revis will shut down whichever wide receiver he covers. Antonio Cromartie is a very good man-to-man cover man who thrives against bigger wide receivers like Austin and Bryant. However, it should be noted that New York’s third-down defense last season gave up too many big plays.

Test for New England: New England travels to Miami for the early "Monday Night Football" game. Although it struggled this preseason, particularly against the Lions, I still consider New England’s offensive line one of the very best. But they will be tested in a huge way on the road. In the Miami heat, the fatigue factor will favor the home team. Miami has an extremely physical and deep 3-man defensive line. Led by Cameron Wake, the Dolphins’ edge pass-rushers are a real handful for any protection scheme. New England might be without starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer, so we might see first-round pick Nate Solder in his first action.

Pressure from Patriots: When Miami has the ball, I expect Bill Belichick to dial up a lot of front-side pressure. Chad Henne is not very mobile, and he can struggle with pressure right in his face. Jake Long returns, after missing the preseason, to man his left tackle spot. I worry about the right side of the Dolphins’ offensive line, particularly starting right tackle Marc Colombo. He should be out-manned by players such as Shaun Ellis and Jermaine Cunningham, let alone the added front-side pressure. Compounding the problem, right guard Vernon Carey has little experience at guard. Anthony Fasano is an excellent blocking tight end and will have to spend much of his time on the right side, but the Miami running backs are either small and lacking physicality (Reggie Bush) or lacking experience (Daniel Thomas) in protection.

Stopping the run: The Bills' defense was awful against the run last season, but I am betting that it improved with the drafting of Marcell Dareus and some other additions. I expect the run defense to be particularly stout up the middle, where Dareus, Kyle Williams and Nick Barnett play. However, the changes might not pay off big against the Chiefs because Jamaal Charles is such a great runner outside the tackles. I also expect Dexter McCluster’s role as a ball carrier to increase.

What a day to be an NFL fan

March, 30, 2011
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There really isn't an AFC East angle to what I'm about to write.

I just felt like venting or commiserating with disenfranchised fans who have every right to be disgusted with the NFL these days.

As of the time of this posting, the lead news stories in the upper right corner of ESPN.com's NFL page deal with:
And that's in addition to three articles on the work stoppage.

I want to go back to bed.

Report: Miami GM plans to meet Dez Bryant

August, 31, 2010
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Several members of the Miami Dolphins will make their competitive return to the Metroplex on Thursday night, when they'll play the Dallas Cowboys in Texas Stadium.

Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano and much of his staff came from the Cowboys staff to work with football operations vice president Bill Parcells. Fullback Lusaka Polite, tight end Anthony Fasano and center Joe Berger are headed back, too.

For general manager Jeff Ireland, the trip will be more than a homecoming. It also will be another reckoning.

Miami Herald columnist Armando Salguero reports Ireland plans to seek out Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant before the game to ensure they've gotten past the ugliness.

Ireland found himself the center of a controversy when Bryant accused him of asking an inappropriate question during an interview at the NFL scouting combine. Bryant reportedly divulged his father was a pimp. Ireland supposedly asked if Bryant's mother, who had served 18 months in prison on drug charges, was a prostitute.

Ireland called Bryant to apologize, and the Dolphins released a statement of apology.

Salguero, citing an unnamed source, reports Ireland wants to follow up in person before the game:
Ireland has told at least one person that he would "try to make sure Bryant is OK with everything," and perhaps repeat in person what he said during a phone conversation with Bryant following their pre-draft incident.

Ireland's gesture is a wise one and should put this miserable issue to rest.

AFC East wire: Pats don't need Dez Bryant

May, 4, 2010
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New England Patriots

Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

Bryant denies calling dad a 'pimp'

April, 30, 2010
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Dallas Cowboys rookie receiver Dez Bryant denies calling his father a "pimp" in a pre-draft interview with Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland -- a statement that reportedly prompted Ireland's query about Bryant's mother.

"No, I didn't tell him my dad was a pimp," Bryant said in a text message to ESPN's Ed Werder.

SI.com's Jim Trotter reported Friday, citing sources familiar with the situation, that Ireland first asked Bryant what his father did for a living, leading to this exchange.
Dez Bryant: "My dad was a pimp."

Jeff Ireland: "What did your mom do [for a living]?"

Bryant: "She worked for my dad."

Ireland: "Your mom was a prostitute?"

Bryant: "No, she wasn't a prostitute."

Ireland has since apologized for the question.

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NFL interview coach: No question off-limits

April, 29, 2010
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Dez BryantAP Photo/Tom PenningtonJeff Ireland's question to Dez Bryant (above) has stirred debate over NFL interview techniques, but former personnel director Ken Herock thinks teams should be able to ask players whatever they want.
Ken Herock's business is preparing prospects for NFL interviews.

He's not interested in 40-yard dash times or bench press repetitions. His mission is training college kids to make an impression when it's time to shake hands with general managers, scouts and head coaches before the draft.

The former NFL personnel director grooms them to be ready for anything because no subject is off the table -- not even questions about whether your mother is a hooker.

"I don't feel there are any topics off-limits," Herock said Thursday afternoon. "If anybody thinks they're off-limits, put yourself in the eyes of an employer that's going to hire a 21-year-old and pay him $15 million or $20 million."

Herock finds nary a problem with the controversial question Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland posed to Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant in a pre-draft interview.

Ireland asked if Bryant's mother was a prostitute. She has served 18 months in prison for selling crack and had admitted to abusing PCP, cocaine and marijuana.

"If somebody just comes out and says 'We hear your mom's a prostitute. Can you explain that situation to me?' I don't think there's anything offensive asking that question," Herock said.

Herock has serious credentials on the matter. He played as an AFL tight end for six seasons and has been a personnel executive for the Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers.

What's this big issue about? Big deal. I would want to know those things, and how do you find out unless you ask?

-- Former personnel director Ken Herock
For the past nine years Herock has trained players to make a golden first impression on NFL personnel evaluators in pre-draft interviews. Herock has worked with more than 600 players. A dozen, including University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson and Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain, were selected in the first round last week.

"I deal with this constantly," Herock said. "I have players whose parents are on drugs, are in jail, abandoned them, kicked them out of the house. I have to make sure my player is prepared to handle that in the right way when they're asked.

"I'm addressing these issues beforehand so they know how to answer every issue that's brought up to them."

Ireland's question to Bryant was revealed in a Yahoo! Sports column Tuesday. Ireland called Bryant to apologize after the story was published, and the Dolphins released a statement on Ireland's behalf.

On Wednesday, the NFL Players Association issued a statement critical of Ireland, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross issued a statement to say the club would conduct an internal review and the NFL admonished Ireland's question as crude.

"What's this big issue about? Big deal," Herock said. "I would want to know those things, and how do you find out unless you ask?

"But it sounded offensive, asking that question the way it was asked. Maybe he came on real strong, but before I would ask that question, I would know for sure that she was. I wouldn't go on any hearsay. I don't think it's offensive to ask that if there was truth to it, but before I asked, I would make sure there was validity."

Another former NFL executive doesn't wonder why the question is such a big story. What puzzles him is why pre-draft interviews have gotten to be so consequential in the first place.

"I can never remember us or anybody else turning down a good player based on a bad interview," said Larry Lacewell, the Dallas Cowboys scouting director for 13 years.

Lacewell's tenure spanned from Jimmy Johnson to Bill Parcells. Ireland worked as a national scout under Lacewell for four seasons.

"We didn't take a player just because he had a good interview, and we sure as hell didn't turn one down because of a bad interview," Lacewell said. "These kids either come in there nervous and scared or like trained dogs.

"If you had depended on [11-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman] Larry Allen for an interview, you might not have hired him as a janitor. I'd love to hear from a team that didn't draft Larry Allen because he couldn't talk."

Bryant was considered the best receiver in this year's draft, but some believed he slid because he interviewed poorly.

As it would turn out, the Dolphins filled their need at receiver by acquiring Brandon Marshall from the Denver Broncos and traded out of their original draft position at No. 12. The Cowboys drafted Bryant with the 24th overall pick.

"There's a certain way to ask questions, and I think [Ireland] asked with the wrong approach," Herock said. "But I would have prepared my player to answer that question to where it wouldn't be offensive to him.

"They already know about his family. They just want to see how he reacts and how he's going to explain it and how he's going to handle it.

"I don't think that question was out of line."

Wiley on Ireland: Teams need to know

April, 29, 2010
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ESPN analyst Marcellus Wiley appeared on "Mike & Mike" to discuss the controversy surrounding Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland and the insensitive question he asked about Dez Bryant's mother in a pre-draft interview.

Wiley, a former Buffalo Bills defensive end, played for the Dallas Cowboys in 2004 under Bill Parcells, now the Dolphins football operations boss. Ireland was with the Cowboys as a scout at the time.

Ireland's question to Bryant about his mother being a prostitute reminded Wiley of an off-putting question Parcells asked him on his free-agent visit. As Wiley explains in the accompanying video, Parcells coldly asked the Columbia grad if he did drugs.

Wiley, while bothered by Ireland's tact with Bryant, defended the philosophical reasons behind the question.

"It's a tough question to hear," Wiley said. "When I first heard it and up until this moment I still shake my head, like, 'Wow, that was a crazy question to ask' just because we don't know the context.

"I'm going to play devil's advocate a little because I totally am sensitive to the question being asked. Most players I know get in trouble -- even let's go to Ben Roethlisberger, the last player in trouble -- because the people around them enable them and no one ever humbles them and tells them 'No' or tells them 'Stop.'

"In a locker room, chemistry is an issue. You've got to have the right people in there. You can't have cancers in that locker room. Sometimes in a guy's family circle he brings those same kind of issued along with him.

"Is it a team's responsibility to figure that out? As much as you can, yes, despite the number of the dollars invested. If you get a guy in the seventh round, you want to know what kind of things is this guy dealing with. What kind of social issues does this guy have to deal with on day-to-day basis?"

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'PTI' examines the Ireland question

April, 29, 2010
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"Pardon the Interruption" co-hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon attempted to answer the question of whether the controversial question Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland asked Dez Bryant about his mother being a prostitute was in bounds.

Michael Wilbon: That's not an interview question. That's insulting. That's demeaning. If Dez Bryant had gotten up and turned the desk over on this guy, that would have been in bounds, too. If he had knocked his head off, where I come from, that would have been fine. You know, Tony, when I talk about the NFL arrogance, this is what I'm saying. ... I'm talking about the feeling that you can say anything, do anything and there are no consequences. It disgusts me.

Tony Kornheiser: This is a league that hands people out Wonderlic tests, which supposedly measure a whole bunch of things. Do you think it's possible in an interview like that to gauge what kind of person they would be getting in Dez Bryant, that they wanted to see his reaction, that they wanted to see if he would turn over the table?

MW: And suppose she was. Then what?

TK: Well, yeah. That's what I'm thinking. So what? He's still got to catch passes. What does it matter? If I were Dez Bryant in that situation, I might say "I hope these people don't draft me because I never want to play [for] them." And I would point out that there are many, many children who come from terrible parents who turn out to be great adults themselves -- and the reverse is true. Many terrible children come from great parents.

MW: So what is [Ireland] getting at to ask that question unless to provoke?

TK: I think it is strictly to be provocative.

MW: And, by the way, wouldn't this seem to you -- because it seems to me -- it would violate the conduct code in a league? Wouldn't somebody want to address that? It's highly offensive.

TK: I can't imagine anybody standing up and saying "That was a good question."

Ireland controversy heating up for Dolphins

April, 28, 2010
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Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland's private conversation with Dez Bryant is turning into a public-relations nightmare.

For the second straight day, the Dolphins issued a statement regarding a controversial question Ireland asked the Oklahoma State receiver in a pre-draft interview. Ireland asked Bryant if his mother was a prostitute.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross issued a statement Wednesday afternoon:
"As an owner of many companies and organizations, including the Miami Dolphins, I have always strived to comply with the highest standards in all aspects of my businesses including recruiting.
"In interviewing employees we always look to obtain relevant and appropriate information in adherence with the best industry practices.
"Jeff Ireland has already apologized for questions asked of former Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant.

"I will be looking into this matter personally and will take appropriate actions if necessary."

NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith issued a statement critical of Ireland on behalf of the union Wednesday.

Mike Ditka was a guest on Miami sports-radio station 790 The Ticket and blasted Ireland. When Ditka was coach of the Chicago Bears in the 1980s, Ireland was a ball boy. Ireland's grandfather, Jim Parmer, was the Bears' college scouting director at the time.

"Somebody ought to whack him in the head," Ditka said of Ireland, according to a blog by Palm Beach Post reporter Edgar Thompson. "You don't ask that question. If you think you know it, you know.

"What are you going to confront a young man with that situation for? He probably loves his mother no matter what she is or who she is. Why would somebody do that? I don't understand things like that. Maybe I'm naive or I'm old. I don't understand that.

"What do you get from asking that question? What's it all about? Every bit of information has to be spread out on the table now? Is that it? Everybody's dirty linen has to be out? I disagree with that. I'm sorry."

Former Dolphins fullback Rob Konrad defended Ireland with an e-mail distributed to South Florida reporters.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel columnist Ethan J. Skolnick posted Konrad's e-mail in full. Here are some highlights:
"Jeff is one of the true good guys in the industry, to see his name being tarnished in the media as the result of single question during a team interview seems to me entirely unjust. ...

"It's important to keep in mind the context of these interviews, the prospect of guaranteeing a 22-year-old stranger millions of dollars to enter one of the most competitive, intolerant and insensitive professional work environments around. I'm not attempting to defend the question asked, but rather the person and the process. Having been through those interviews, in the locker room and on the field, I can tell you that he work environment in the NFL is unique, one that would be unacceptable in virtually any other industry. The questions asked by teams in pre-draft interviews usually have the dual purpose of getting to know the player and testing their mind-set. ...

"When I was coming out of Syracuse University, I remember being asked if I thought I could succeed as a white running back in the NFL and why I thought a kid who attended a suburban Massachusetts private high school was tough enough to play in the NFL. If one were interviewing a prospective executive for private industry, this line of questioning likely wouldn't be acceptable. ...

"Jeff may be demanding and thorough, and maybe a question was asked in poor judgment, but he's one of the good guys in the NFL. He's been a great asset to the Dolphins and a good friend to South Florida."

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NFLPA criticizes Ireland's lack of tact

April, 28, 2010
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NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith has released a statement about Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland's suddenly infamous pre-draft meeting with Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant.

Ireland apologized Tuesday for asking Bryant if his mother was a prostitute. Bryant's mother had served time in prison for selling crack cocaine.

Smith's statement at NFLPlayers.com reads:
We need to make sure the men of this league are treated as businessmen. During interviews, our players and prospective players should never be subjected to discrimination or degradation stemming from the biases or misconceptions held by team personnel. NFL teams cannot have the free reign to ask questions during the interview process which can be categorized as stereotyping or which may bring a personal insult to any player as a man. For the past year, active, former and incoming players have heard me speak about the expectations we have of them as members of this union, their teams, communities and families. It is equally true that the same kind of respect is demanded of their employers.

Dolphins GM calls Dez Bryant to apologize

April, 27, 2010
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Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland has apologized for asking Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant an offensive question before the draft.

Bryant told Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports that Ireland, while probing the Oklahoma State star's troubled past, asked Bryant if his mother was a prostitute.

Bryant's background came under intense scrutiny in the weeks before the draft. The New York Times wrote about his mother, Angela, who went to prison for selling crack cocaine and abused marijuana, PCP and cocaine.

In an earlier Silver story, Bryant described the offensive question without revealing names:

"They asked me if my mom's a prostitute," Bryant said. "No, my mom is not a prostitute. I got mad -- really mad -- but I didn't show it. I got a lot of questions like that: Does she still do drugs? I sat and answered all of them."

In Tuesday's story, Silver identified Ireland and call wrote "Ireland seems like a strong candidate to be decreed the biggest jerk in the history of job interviewers."

Ireland phoned Bryant after Tuesday's story was posted and issued a statement through the Dolphins.

"My job is to find out as much information as possible about a player that I'm considering drafting,” Ireland said. "Sometimes that leads to asking in-depth questions.

"Having said that, I talked to Dez Bryant and told him I used poor judgment in one of the questions I asked him. I certainly meant no disrespect and apologized to him.

"I appreciate his acceptance of that apology, and I told him I wished him well as he embarks on his NFL career."

We walked a mile in these mockasins

April, 22, 2010
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Finally, it's draft day.

Time for one last AFC East mock roundup for you to mull over.

These are the latest projections from ESPN's Mel Kiper, Todd McShay and the Scouts Inc. crew, ESPN.com's NFL Blog Network, Dallas Morning News writer Rick Gosselin, the NFL.com trio of Bucky Brooks, Charles Davis and Pat Kirwan, the National Football Post's Wes Bunting, and the CBSSports.com quartet of Clark Judge, Pete Prisco, Rob Rang and Chad Reuter.

No. 9 Buffalo Bills

  • Kiper's pick: Anthony Davis, Rutgers tackle
  • Scouts Inc.'s pick: Bryan Bulaga, Iowa tackle
  • ESPN.com Blog Network's pick: Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame quarterback
  • Brooks' pick: Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame quarterback
  • Bunting's pick: Tim Tebow, Florida quarterback
  • Davis' pick: Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame quarterback
  • Gosselin's pick: Dan Williams, Tennessee defensive tackle
  • Judge's pick: C.J. Spiller, Clemson running back
  • Kirwan's pick: Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame quarterback
  • Prisco's pick: C.J. Spiller, Clemson running back
  • Rang's pick: Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame quarterback
  • Reuter's pick: Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame quarterback
No. 12 Miami Dolphins

  • Kiper's pick: Sergio Kindle, Texas outside linebacker
  • Scouts Inc.'s pick: Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech defensive end
  • ESPN.com Blog Network's pick: Dan Williams, Tennessee defensive tackle
  • Brooks' pick: Earl Thomas, Texas safety
  • Bunting's pick: Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech defensive end
  • Davis' pick: Sergio Kindle, Texas outside linebacker
  • Gosselin's pick: Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech receiver
  • Judge's pick: Williams, Tennessee defensive tackle
  • Kirwan's pick: Sergio Kindle, Texas outside linebacker
  • Prisco's pick: Williams, Tennessee defensive tackle
  • Rang's pick: Jerry Hughes, Texas Christian defensive end
  • Reuter's pick: Dan Williams, Tennessee defensive tackle
No. 22 New England Patriots

  • Kiper's pick: Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma tight end
  • Scouts Inc.'s pick: Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma tight end
  • ESPN.com Blog Network's pick: Sergio Kindle, Texas outside linebacker
  • Brooks' pick: Brandon Graham, Michigan outside linebacker
  • Bunting's pick: Jared Odrick, Penn State defensive tackle
  • Davis' pick: Jared Odrick, Penn State defensive tackle
  • Gosselin's pick: Earl Thomas, Texas safety
  • Judge's pick: Jerry Hughes, Texas Christian defensive end
  • Kirwan's pick: Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State receiver
  • Prisco's pick: Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma tight end
  • Rang's pick: Jared Odrick, Penn State defensive tackle
  • Reuter's pick: Tim Tebow, Florida quarterback
No. 29 New York Jets

  • Kiper's pick: Linval Joseph, East Carolina defensive tackle
  • Scouts Inc.'s pick: Jared Odrick, Penn State defensive tackle
  • ESPN.com Blog Network's pick: Taylor Mays, USC safety
  • Brooks' pick: Jared Odrick, Penn State defensive tackle
  • Bunting's pick: Nate Allen, South Florida safety
  • Davis' pick: Everson Griffen, USC defensive end
  • Gosselin's pick: Patrick Robinson, Florida State cornerback
  • Judge's pick: Taylor Mays, USC safety
  • Kirwan's pick: Carlos Dunlap, Florida defensive end
  • Prisco's pick: Tyson Alualu, California defensive end
  • Rang's pick: Everson Griffen, USC defensive end
  • Reuter's pick: Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech receiver

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