Wow. Talk about a blast from the past. Perusing profootballtalk.com this morning, I come across an interview with former Cardinals defensive tackle/washout Wendell Bryant. Stunning. His name actually came up in conversation I was having with someone during minicamp, in the context that everyone hopes the same high expectations/dismal results package doesn't happen with a current defensive tackle -- Alan Branch.
Bryant was the 12th pick in the 2002 draft, and it was right about where he would have been chosen by anyone. He was one of the "Big 4" defensive tackles available, with Ryan Sims, John Henderson and Albert Haynesworth. The latter two were good. Sims and Bryant, not so much. Bryant admits he had a "bad atttitude" with the Cardinals, something that was easy to see. It didn't help that he missed all of training camp as a rookie because he couldn't come to contract terms with the team.
When Denny Green took over, he let that perspective leak out to the press, providing me with one of my most memorable anecdotes as a beat reporter, because I was later told Green put the article up in a team meeting and called Bryant out in front of the whole team. Bryant had once told me, after he had gotten a DUI back in Wisconsin while still on the team, that his family all had done similar things. That obviously was a warning sign, with him talking about the problems in his family. I doubt he can come back -- he hasn't been in the league since the Cards cut him in camp of 2005, prior to him getting a league suspension -- but hopefully he has at least changed his life around.