Friday, July 25, 2014
Dez's potential to improve 'kind of scary'
By Tim MacMahon
OXNARD, Calif. -- He’s a Pro Bowl receiver just entering his prime with a ton of untapped potential.
That excites Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant.
At 25, Bryant has established himself as one of the NFL’s elite receivers, tying for the league lead in touchdown catches (25) and ranking sixth in receiving yards (2,615) over the past two seasons. He firmly believes he can get much better.
"Truthfully, to be honest, I feel like, man, I'm still rising," Bryant said. "I learn new things and things just become easier by the day. To me, it's almost kind of scary."
Bryant, who considers himself capable of being the first 2,000-yard receiver in NFL history, believes he’s ready to blossom in his fifth NFL season. He’s excited about the possibilities of playing for new Cowboys playcaller Scott Linehan, who coached record-setting Calvin Johnson in Detroit.
"I can’t wait," Bryant said. "I’m ready to put all that stuff together and help my teammates and see where it goes from there."
Bryant said he feels the same physically as he did during his rookie season. He’s made major strides in the mental aspect of the game, such as not just knowing the playbook but understanding the nuances of it and focusing on intricate details such as keeping his arms pumping at the top of his routes.
"I can’t begin to tell you in so many different ways how’s he’s gotten better," head coach Jason Garrett said. "He’s gotten much more mature as a person. He handles the game in a much more professional manner than he did when he got here. It shows up in his play.
"There’s never been a question about his passion or love for the game -- the kind of kid he is. He’s just an unbelievable teammate. You love to have him on your football team. He’s grown a lot. It’s shown up in his play. He's a more mature route runner. He has a better understanding what he wants to do -- how he wants to attack defenders, how he sees coverages. He’s just continuing to grow."
Garrett sees "so much room for improvement" in Bryant. Garrett sees a relentless desire to be better in Bryant, who is receptive to receivers coach Derek Dooley’s demanding style.
"He understands the environment that he’s in and he embraces it every day," Garrett said. "He’s always trying to get better. That’s one of the reasons we love him."