Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' receiver Antonio Bryant fires back at ESPN analysts Emmitt Smith and Trent Dilfer

Antonio Bryant, beating Carolina’s Richard Marshall on a pass, says Emmitt Smith and Trent Dilfer disrespected him on TV.


Antonio Bryant, beating Carolina’s Richard Marshall on a pass, says Emmitt Smith and Trent Dilfer disrespected him on TV.

TAMPA — Many in the media have described WR Antonio Bryant as a player with "baggage."

But never has Bryant reacted as strongly as Wednesday, when he shot back at ESPN analysts Emmitt Smith and Trent Dilfer.

"I'm still trying to figure out what all this baggage is I'm supposed to have," Bryant said. "I'm a real person. And that bull Emmitt said on the TV about 'Get my life right' and Trent Dilfer mentioned something about getting my life right outside of football … don't be a hypocrite."

Dilfer and Bryant were with the 49ers in 2006. Smith and Bryant were with the Cowboys in 2002, Bryant's rookie year.

In on-air comments, Dilfer said: "He's got immense talent. Could be one of the best receivers in the NFL if he can get a handle on some of the off-the-field emotional issues."

Smith suggested Bryant's inability to hold his tongue was the cause of his troubles in Dallas and San Francisco, who jettisoned him after run-ins with coaches.

Bryant seemed to suggest both acted friendly to him in person, but he felt betrayed by the criticism, regardless of its validity.

"I can put on a suit just like you and get on TV and talk just like you," Bryant said. "So remember that before you disrespect me like that on TV. I'm a hard worker. I've always been a hard worker. So don't take that away from me … and just let me play football. If you've got something to say to me, say it."

Bryant's 200 receiving yards Monday against Carolina made him a topic of conversation.

"What I said was harmless and something everybody already knew," Dilfer said. "I've always talked about the immense talent. I've been a huge advocate since he was in Cleveland and helped get him to San Francisco. I've supported him 100 percent when he had his issues with Coach (Mike) Nolan. At the same time, he has baggage. And if he's choosing to deny it, that's his problem. But I understand he feels he has played well enough that he believes no one should bring up that baggage anymore, and I'll respect that.''

Smith could not be reached for comment.

PROTECTION PROBLEMS? Jeff Garcia has been sacked 14 times in three games. But coach Jon Gruden said the numbers aren't a fair representation.

"A lot of the sacks are scramble opportunities that Jeff has made," he said. "I'm really comfortable with the way the pocket looks, the pickups."

INJURY UPDATE: DT Jovan Haye (knee) missed Wednesday's practice as did NT Chris Hovan (knee). Garcia participated on a limited basis because of a calf injury, but Gruden didn't appear concerned because it is not the calf that limited Garcia for two weeks in training camp.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' receiver Antonio Bryant fires back at ESPN analysts Emmitt Smith and Trent Dilfer 12/10/08 [Last modified: Sunday, December 14, 2008 1:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. LSU's Paul Mainieri defends FSU's Mike Martin; Gators play Friday


    OMAHA, Neb. — LSU coach Paul Mainieri says whether Florida State's Mike Martin ever wins a national championship should have no bearing on how his long career in college baseball is judged.

    MADE IT: TCU’s Josh Watson beats the tag of Louisville catcher Colby Fitch during Thursday’s late College World Series game.
  2. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  3. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also has top-9 wing on his wish list

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Much has been made about the Lightning's interest in bolstering its blue line, even after last week's acquisition of defense prospect Mikhail Sergachev.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101
  4. Peter Budaj loves 'vibe' with Lightning


    Two years ago, nobody was willing to give Peter Budaj a shot, the veteran goalie wondering if he'd ever play in the NHL again.

    Peter Budaj signed a two-year extension with the Lightning, worth $1.025 million per year.