More trouble for Cowboys' Bryant

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant runs with the ball against the Rams at Cowboys Stadium in...

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant runs with the ball against the Rams at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex., Oct. 23, 2011. (MIKE STONE/Reuters)

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:06 PM ET

Dez Bryant continues to be a trouble magnet.

The Dallas Cowboys wide receiver was detained by police in South Beach after reportedly getting involved in a fight at a Miami nightclub.

Bryant was not arrested or charged but it continues a troubling trend of off-field issues that include allegations of unpaid debts and getting booted out, and banned, from a Dallas mall.

While some have dismissed the issues as immaturity and the over-exhuberance of youth, Bryant is drawing increasing criticism.

NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon recently noted of talented receiver Justin Blackmon, like Bryant from Oklahoma State, that he is ‘like Dez Bryant with all of his brain cells’.

It’s one thing to be thought of as not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, it’s another to keep going out and prove it.

BRONCOS HAVE WORK TO DO

The Denver Broncos made huge strides this year, improving to .500 after winning just four games last season.

The next rung on the ladder of respectability might be a little harder to reach.

Tim Tebow is expected to return as the No. 1 quarterback although the club is expected to sign a veteran backup in the off-season.

There are other areas that need upgrades. Willis McGahee, if not for Tebow, might’ve been the feel-good story of the year in Denver re-emerging as dependable every-down tailback. But they need to find a backup to take some of the load from McGahee or risk wearing him down.

There are also upgrades needed along the defensive line and Tom Brady showed that a good quarterback and passing attack can dismantle this secondary.

The problem with Tebowmania is that, next season, the hardest part may be finding an encore.

RAMS MOVE TO L.A. IN WORKS?

There is growing concern in St. Louis that the Rams might leave for the bright lights of Los Angeles.

And, owner Stan Kroenke, isn’t doing anything to lessen that concern.

The Rams are free to leave when their stadium lease expires after the 2014 season and Kroenke is using that as leverage for stadium upgrades.

Meantime, L.A. is beckoning quietly. It is also no secret that the league would like to get back into the huge L.A. market. Add the initial reluctance of new coach Jeff Fisher to sign because he was afraid the club might move, and it’s easy to see why there may be a little unrest among the locals.

Add it all up and fans don’t know whether to regard Kroenke as the franchise saviour or the Great Satan.

DRIVER IN LIMBO

Receiver Donald Driver didn’t expect it to end this way but, after 13 seasons, he may be finished in Green Bay.

“No one prepared for this. No one prepared to pack their bags up and move out. But you play the way we played, and that’s the outcome,” said Driver as the shock of a 37-20 loss to the Giants sunk in Monday. “You have to pack your bags and head down the road. I think right now, a lot of guys are saying they don’t know what to do. They don’t know when to go home. Because no one prepared to leave this week.”

Driver says he’s not ready to retire but even though he continued to be effective he slid to the No. 4 receiver role with 445 yards.

He’s 36 and it’s unlikely the Packers will retain him for the $5 million his contract calls for next season. The Packers have Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and James Jones ahead of him on the depth chart and Randall Cobb’s playing time is expected to increase. “This is a business, and if they decide to go a different route with the young players then I’ve got to go do what I want to do.” Driver said. “And that means . . . am I going to go somewhere else and play, or do I put the cleats up? Right now, I’m not ready to put the cleats up, so I guess I’ll be going somewhere else to play.”

JUST WEIRD

Being head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs bugged Todd Haley.

And, more than just figuratively, too.

Haley told the Kansas City Star that he believed his personal cellphone and “many rooms” at the team’s headquarters were bugged.

The story details a management style rooted in intimidation and secrecy since Scott Pioli was hired as general manager in January 2009. In the past three years, more than half the workforce has turned over, and the vast majority of senior staff members are no longer with the team.

New employees describe the working environment as restrictive. Longer term employees speak of fear and being “mentally abused.”

Clark Hunt, the Chiefs’ chairman and CEO defended Pioli, telling the newspaper the franchise needed a change from the days when Lamar Hunt ran the franchise as a family: “We needed a culture that pursued excellence,” Hunt said. “One that valued honesty and integrity, one where the employees would be held accountable.”

Non-football employees, including those who had worked for the Chiefs for decades, have been told that they aren’t allowed on certain floors, or in certain areas of the team facility. Business-side staffers with an office window facing the practice fields are told to keep shades drawn during practices. The story is fascinating reading. It notes, during his first year, Pioli noticed a candy wrapper in a back stairwell and waited to see how long it took to be picked up. About a week passed, and it remained in the stairwell. He placed the wrapper in an envelope, and during a meeting of department heads, Donovan, then the team’s chief operating officer, brandished the wrapper as evidence of the attention to detail that Chiefs employees had grown to ignore.

“A great coaching moment,” Donovan said.

Others see something different. They believe the idiots are well and truly running the asylum. “The level of paranoia was probably the highest that I had ever seen it anywhere,” another former high-ranking staffer said. “If you make the wrong step, you might not be able to pay your mortgage.”


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