Roy Williams Says Right Things in Bryant Pad Issue
By Jonathan Bales
If he doesn’t want to take the pads, he doesn’t have to take the pads,” said Williams. “It’s not a big deal. We’ll just move on. We talked about it. He wants to concentrate on football. We’re going to let him concentrate on football. But, when we go out to eat, I’m gonna be a little bit more hungry and a little bit more thirsty.
Williams is saying all of the right things, but presumably he is frustrated with Bryant’s refusal. Williams’ intentions were really to accept Bryant onto the squad and, by invoking a traditional act of “hazing,” attempt to become closer to the rookie.
Bryant views the request as disrespectful, but he is wrong. The act is not demeaning because there is more meaning to it beyond simply lugging pads a few hundred feet. Williams, and just about every other rookie in the NFL, went through the same thing. It’s a tradition that can bond players–particularly ones fighting for the same job.
Fortunately for the Cowboys, Williams isn’t make a huge deal out of the situation. Let’s hope his attitude doesn’t sour if Bryant continues to miss the point concerning the veteran/rookie relationship.