Dez Bryant ready to turn over a new leaf in maturity
MAY 21, 2013 5:29p ET
"When I was younger it wasn't like I was acquainted with all that stuff," the Dallas Cowboys standout wide receiver said after the team's OTA workout at Valley Ranch. I wasn't used to it. I had to get around people who do it right and I feel like that's been my stepping stone, these older guys. … I'm listening and looking at people who do it right."
And as a result, the young man plagued by "off-field issues" hasn't just found maturity.
"I found myself," Bryant said.
That certainly happened on the field last season, as Bryant caught 92 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. Dallas expects it to happen again in 2013, as coach Jason Garrett candidly noted, "He can do more."
"A lot of that coincides with his development as a person,” Garrett said of Bryant, who he called "a joy to coach. He's got a number of these other things in his life organized and together, and it makes him a better player."
Part of being 24 is figuring out how to handle oneself every day. On the field and off. Bryant remains as playful as ever in the locker room, and as competitive as ever on the practice field. It's in his dealings with the media that we get to see a glimpse of a boy becoming a man.
"I'm comfortable with my life," Bryant said. "I'm enjoying being in the NFL. I wish it could've been a couple years back, but I had to go through a couple of things to figure it out. I think I got it. … This is something I love to do. … I'm all in."