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Thread: Bires: Steelers should steer clear of Bryant

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    Bires: Steelers should steer clear of Bryant

    Bires: Steelers should steer clear of Bryant

    By: Mike Bires
    Beaver County Times
    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sport ... ryant.html

    Saturday April 17, 2010 11:55 PM

    PITTSBURGH — Dynamics of the Steelers’ draft process changed Monday when Santonio Holmes was booted out of town. That decision guarantees the Steelers will take at least one wide receiver in this week’s NFL Draft.

    Which means they could pick Dez Bryant.

    There is no doubt that Bryant, who played at Oklahoma State, is the most talented wide receiver available in the draft. At least one draft service rates him as highly as the ninth-best prospect.

    But because of character issues, some teams will shy away from him.

    There’s a chance Bryant will be available when it’s the Steelers’ turn to pick Thursday night with the 18th pick.

    If that’s the case, the Steelers should not take him.

    Because of the negative publicity the NFL has had in recent years, “character” has become a catchphrase for many teams.

    The Jets may not care about character. They’re so desperate to get back to the Super Bowl that they recently acquired Holmes, a police blotter regular, in a trade with the Steelers, and cornerback Antonio Cromartie from the Chargers.

    Both Holmes and Cromartie are talented players taken in the first round of the 2006 draft. But both have serious character flaws.

    Holmes was arrested three times after the Steelers drafted him, including a 2008 bust for marijuana possession. On the day Holmes was traded last week, he was suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season for violating the NFL’s drug code.

    The Steelers gambled on Holmes when they drafted him in the first place. Despite his skills, he had a reputation as a prima donna at Ohio State and had fathered three children to two different women in two different states. Still, the Steelers drafted him.

    Cromartie, who’s only 25, has already fathered seven children by six women in five states. The Chargers traded him away because of his questionable work ethic.

    The Steelers, though, are trying to clean up their image in what has been one of the most disappointing stretches in team history when it comes to off-the-field issues.

    James Harrison. Jeff Reed. Matt Spaeth. Ben Roethlisberger. Holmes.

    In their own ways, each has shamed themselves and the Steelers.

    That’s why they should stay away from Bryant.

    Because he told a big fib, Bryant missed nine games last year at Oklahoma State. That stiff penalty was handed down by the NCAA because Bryant lied about his relationship with former NFL star Deion Sanders, who tried to land Bryant as a client for agent Eugene Parker.

    That’s a red flag.

    Google Bryant’s name on your computer and you’ll see stories with headlines like “Bryant trying to out-run past” or “Questions dog Dez Bryant” or “How far will Dez Bryant fall?”

    Twice since Kevin Colbert was hired in 2000 as director of football operations, the Steelers drafted wide receivers in the first round. Both turned out to be nuisances.

    The first was Plaxico Burress out of Michigan State in 2000. The second was Holmes.

    Both were great talents. But both had character flaws.

    Burress lasted five seasons with the Steelers. He’s now in prison for violating gun laws in New York.

    And just for the record, the Steelers took Troy Edwards in the first round of the 1999 draft, and he proved to be an underachieving malcontent who lasted just three years in Pittsburgh.

    The Steelers just haven’t had much luck drafting wide receivers in the first round.

    The bottom line is that the Steelers have many areas to address in this draft. They have needs at cornerback, offensive line, defensive line and linebacker.

    They should not draft a wide receiver in the first round, even if Dez Bryant is still on the board.

    Mike Bires can be reached online at mbires@timesonline.com

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  2. #2
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    Re: Bires: Steelers should steer clear of Bryant

    Finally! An article that has me totally convinced of something and is not a lot of hogwash. Small point though it may be. Im glad nobody has Bryant in their mock.

    I think the focus on character issues is born from the media focus on the police blotter. They soar in the sky above like vultures waiting for the next road kill. Everytime they feast on the live carcass of another player, Goodell rubs his temples and proclaims that the character of NFL players must improve. But the character of the players was never any better and will never improve. (Why should Cromartie's 7 kids to 6 women matter to us...he broke no law?) A cross section of any population will reveal that there are always people on both ends of the spectrum. So if the number of problem players has generally been the same, we must blame the media buzzards for over-reporting on the topic, over-amplifying the negative aspects of regular daily life. This point was finally hammered home to me when the Ga DA was quoted on TMZ. (Why was that loser advertising his position on TMZ anyway?) Honestly, I dont need daily updates on the investigations. Id prefer to see simple newsflashes at important milestones like arrest and conviction. We never know all the information so playing your case to the uninformed public is disingenuous. Save it for the jury who will get to hear everything. Im only interested in their opinion.
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    Re: Bires: Steelers should steer clear of Bryant

    Oh, newsflash: Steelers, who have parted ways with shady characters Holmes and Burress the past five years, shouldn't take Dez Bryant.

    I didn't even read the article, but... thanks genius (this writer, Bires), as if we needed to be told that.
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    Re: Bires: Steelers should steer clear of Bryant

    Rubbish.

    This board has proven that talent is more valuable than character.

    If Bryant lasts to #18- draft him & be happy with it.
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    Re: Bires: Steelers should steer clear of Bryant

    Just curious...what exactly has Bryant done that makes him such a big character risk? He was suspended by the NCAA because of an involvement with Deion Sanders (and lying about their relationship to investigators). It was stupid, but sometimes the NCAA can be Nazis about things. Other than that, the only bad things that I have heard were relatively minor issues such as being late to some practices and the like. I realize that he came from a difficult upbringing (I believe his mother had her first child when she was in middle school and had something like 3 kids in her teen years) but that is not necessarily a reason to penalize a guy. Perhaps I'm missing something here, but he apparently doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, doesn't do drugs, and has never been in trouble with the police. Just wondering if I am missing something here...is he really an awful guy and I just haven't heard about it for whatever reason?

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    Re: Bires: Steelers should steer clear of Bryant

    Quote Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher
    Just curious...what exactly has Bryant done that makes him such a big character risk? He was suspended by the NCAA because of an involvement with Deion Sanders (and lying about their relationship to investigators). It was stupid, but sometimes the NCAA can be Nazis about things. Other than that, the only bad things that I have heard were relatively minor issues such as being late to some practices and the like. I realize that he came from a difficult upbringing (I believe his mother had her first child when she was in middle school and had something like 3 kids in her teen years) but that is not necessarily a reason to penalize a guy. Perhaps I'm missing something here, but he apparently doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, doesn't do drugs, and has never been in trouble with the police. Just wondering if I am missing something here...is he really an awful guy and I just haven't heard about it for whatever reason?
    I would jump on Bryant at #18. He made a mistake by letting himself get "starstruck" by an NFL Hall of Famer who was manipulating a young kid. That IMO is more shame of Deion not Dez. I agree that I have heard nothing about him being a discipline problem.

    I'm confident the Steelers will do their due diligence but keep in mind that if we pass on him at #18, I'm sure the Ravens won't pass on him later. It is still about winning football games.

    The key thing the Steelers need to do is to get some kind of mentoring program in place. They do that well on the field when young guys come in, but they need to look at how they stay engaged with these guys off the field.
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    Re: Bires: Steelers should steer clear of Bryant

    If we can get a play maker like Bryant at 1.18 while it wouldn't make me jump for joy, I'd be okay with it. I'd still like to see Graham or Thomas, but they probably won't be there.

    Come on Thursday night...the wait is killing me.

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    Re: Bires: Steelers should steer clear of Bryant

    From everything I've read/heard about Dez Bryant, he's a good kid just needs to wise up a bit. He doesn't smoke or drink.

    I think his major problem is going to be the "being late to practice" issue. He's working on it and hired a life coach from what I hear, to help him be on time for meetings. If he can get that fixed he should be fine...

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    Re: Bires: Steelers should steer clear of Bryant

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    Re: Bires: Steelers should steer clear of Bryant

    i agree, i dont get why people think someone is bad because a guy like deion sanders tries to take advantage of him, so he was late to a practice, if you dont smoke, do drugs, or drink than that tells me alot, arrogance is bound to happen and I think he will come down to earth when he gets to the nfl....

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