The Bucs highest paid player and wearer of his emotions on his sleeve, Antonio Bryant not so subtlety calls bull spit after the game when St. Petersburg Times reporter Stephen Holder caught up with him. Bryant seems to be eyeing free agency or possibly a trade based on his comments, but after the amount of dropped passes against the Eagles last week, not sure he should be throwing team mates or for that matter a young quarterback who has had very limited reps in training camp and practices the past two seasons until a few weeks ago under the bus.
“You tell me,” he said. “This is probably the best I’ve felt all this year. I’ve had a lot of great results on this (injured) knee.”
When I asked him whether some of the opportunities to which he is referring are downfield plays that aren’t being made, he said, “Yes, a lot of the times. But I understand the process that we’re supposed to be going through. We’re trying to groom one of our quarterbacks, so there’s a lot of growing pains that we have to go through. But that’s the frustrating part, having the patience to deal with it.”
Bryant concluded with a statement that is open to all kinds of interpretation.
“All I can do is. . . control what I can control,” he said. “That’s going out there, running the routes, trying to get open and being where I’m supposed to be so it shows up on film, the right people see it and something gets done about it.”
Throwing out snide comments such as the “grooming a quarterback” line is unwarranted, and smacks of “it’s not my fault this team sucks” but, this reeks of another receiver with a “Superman” complex. Sure Bryant’s frustrated just like the fans and every other player on the team is, but it shows a lack of mental toughness and is this first sign that that locker room is beginning to boil over and could turn into a disease infested breeding ground for finger pointing, which would ensure the team goes win less in 2009.
It seems Bryant’s more worried about putting film out there for his next big pay day for other perspective teams to view, rather then take the young signal callers the team is trying to groom and work with them to straighten out any miscommunication problems that may exist or build chemistry and confidence with the young players.
Looking back, it’s not like Bryant himself did the team any favors, he decided against surgery on a troublesome knee in the off-season and missed most of training camp and has been unable to practice much after electing to have minor surgery to elevate the bone on bone rubbing that bothered him since the 2008 season. So any minutiae subtle details or chemistry with the quarterbacks has been non-existent and could be part of the problem.