Playing the part of Mike Vick... Dez Bryant

October, 28, 2011
10/28/11
12:30
PM ET
Bryant
Bryant
There seems to be little that Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant can't do on a football field. Turns out, he's even a good actor. The Cowboys used Bryant, who's left-handed and extremely fast, to simulate Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick in practice this week, per Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com:
"There's nobody who runs like him," linebacker Sean Lee said of Vick. "He's one of the best quarterbacks, but he's also one of the best running backs in the league with how he moves and how fast he is and especially when things break open. It's like a punt return every time with the way he's able to shake people. We had Dez at practice to show us some of those looks with what it's like with a guy with that agility."

Not a bad idea, certainly. The last thing you'd want is to be caught off-guard by Vick's speed. Using someone like Bryant to simulate him in practice isn't going to solve everything, of course. Part of the problem with Vick is the way he's able to use his instincts and athleticism to turn a broken play into a huge gain with his legs. That element of surprise -- and of frustration over having beaten a play only to give up big yards anyway -- is not something for which you can practice. But if the Cowboys' coaching staff was looking to give its defense a sense of just how quick and fast and shifty Vick is when he does run, then using their quick, fast, shifty wide receiver was a smart way to do it. It's worth mentioning, however, that Bryant is a lot bigger than Vick.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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