Dez Bryant feels 2,000 yards is a possibility
According to Bryant, however, the world has yet to see him come close to his full potential. "That's still scratching the surface," Bryant said. "I feel like nobody's seen anything."
For anyone who has seen Bryant at his best, that is a completely reasonable statement - but Bryant didn't stop there. He went on to say, "I honestly feel like [2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns] could potentially happen."
In case you were unaware, no player has ever topped 2,000 yards receiving in a single season. Calvin Johnson came very close in 2012, but finished with 1,964 - an NFL record. As for 20 touchdowns, it has been done twice, by Randy Moss (23) and Jerry Rice (22).
It's obvious that this is an incredibly bold statement, especially from a player with career-highs of 1,382 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. However, Bryant finished last season on a ridiculous tear, racking up 50 catches for 879 yards and 10 touchdowns over the final eight games. That would project to a 100 catch, 1,758 yard, 20 touchdown campaign if he maintained that production over a full season. It's not quite 2,000 yards, but as Bryant said, he's "still scratching the surface."
Anyone who has seen Bryant's flashes of dominance understands where this statement is coming from. An explosive athlete with strong hands who is a vicious runner after the catch, Bryant has all the tools to be among the league's best pass catchers. What has slowed him in the past are injuries and off-field issues. However, he managed to play in all 16 games last season, and head coach Jason Garrett believes he's made a lot of progress "not only as a player but as a person."
Personally, I think that Bryant hit the nail on the head with his comments. He is still scratching the surface and could potentially hit that historic benchmark, but keep one word in mind - "potentially." I wouldn't say it's likely, but I would say it is within the realm of possibility.
Bryant and quarterback Tony Romo were not on the same page for much of the 2012 season, and the more they are able to prepare together and get to know each other's tendencies, the more they'll be able to benefit from one another. If healthy, I'd be surprised if Bryant doesn't build off his Pro Bowl caliber numbers and consistently dominate next season.
For those of you who are thinking that this is Dez being Dez once again and he is all about himself rather than the team, I'll throw this quote out there: "No matter what I've done last year... it don't mean nothing. Stats mean nothing. You want to win... Whenever you want to win like I do, anything is possible." Read into that however you want. To me, it sounds like a player who wants his team to win, and is willing to do anything he has to in order to get his team into the playoffs. If that means 2,000 yards receiving, then that's what he'll try to do.
Fantasy football drafts aren't exactly around the corner just yet, but Bryant is very much on my radar. I'm expecting a huge year.