Ravens Amused By Bryant’s Refusal

The Ravens react to the Dez Bryant hubbub, but mostly with a smile.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 at 9:45 am | Categories: 2010 Training Camp, Mike Duffy

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is fine carrying his own pads off the practice field.

He isn’t planning on continuing an NFL tradition of making rookies gofers for the veterans, which Dallas Cowboys rookie receiver Dez Bryant recently refused to do when Roy Williams asked him to carry his pads last weekend.

That’s not to say Flacco wouldn’t have hauled in gear for other players when he entered the league in 2008.  It just means he gets a laugh out of the way the media has blown up this issue.

“Believe me, I probably would have carried somebody’s in [as a rookie], but I don’t want to have some guy carry my pads in,” he said with a chuckle. “Shoot, I feel bad when I’m over [there] signing [autographs] and I’ve got to take this stuff off because the equipment guys come up and take it in for us.  We don’t need other players [carrying pads] – the equipment guys are out here doing it, working as hard as anybody.

“I’ll never do that just because that’s not the way I am.  I feel bad giving my pads to them.”

Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said that he opposes hazing, especially when it gets disrespectful.

But there are times when the rookies can show deference to their elders.

“We’re not a hazing team,” Coach Harbaugh said. “It’s not something that we believe in. We think all of our players are Ravens. That’s why we brought them in here, and they’re Ravens until they’re not. We try to be very respectful of all the guys, and that includes rookies. But I also think there’s a certain protocol for the young guys to have an opportunity to show some humility and some respect for the veterans and what they’ve done in this league.

“If that means stepping back in line at dinner, stepping back in the taping line, taking care of pads coming off the field, that stuff is being deferential to a veteran. We encourage that, and our guys have always been good about that.”

As an update outside Ravenstown, Bryant said on Tuesday that he wasn’t aware of the protocol.

“I told Roy this … he could have walked in with his tights on,” Bryant said after the first of Dallas’ two practices. “I would have took his shoulder pads, his pants, his helmet, his socks, his shoes. I would have took everything. But you know what, that’s not even an issue.”

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