Steelers Bud Dupree has self-confidence in his football abilities, but does not take his talents for granted. He knows the transition will take work.
All the NFL First Round draft picks get a lot of attention and Bud Dupree is no different. The latest highlight is from Will Graves, an AP sportswriter whose article was recently posted on Yahoo.
One interesting point is the initial reference to Dupree’s photographic memory. I am certainly not favored with that kind of gift, but I can imagine the huge benefit.
Perhaps more interesting is Jarvis Jones’ quote on helping Dupree:
"I can show him the right way for the Steelers and what he needs to do to stay positive when things get tough,” Jones said. ”He can’t worry about what people are saying. He can only control certain things, like coming out here and working hard every single day and just doing his job.”"
Graves describes Jones as not so much a mentor (that is James Harrison’s role) but as the older brother who Dupree can look up to. Hmmm, ok.
There has been a fair amount of discussion about how much the Steelers defense will change.
Will the combination of a different defensive coach (albeit one from within), some younger talent, and a small amount of veteran presence make a difference?
If it doesn’t, Dupree could shoulder some of the “blame.” Fair or not, the “b” word will start circulating: “Is Dupree a Bust?”
Ridiculous? No one has any patience to let these changes take a couple of years to gel. We are in an instant gratification world.
In that regard, Dupree is saying the right things and gave Graves this impression:
"He understands expectations are part of the game. He’d just prefer the understated approach that’s served him so well for so long.”"
I agree that results, not flash are what matter in the end. However, I wonder how many see it that way.
Maybe I remember this wrong, but there wasn’t a lot of initial “flash” from Jarvis Jones and the season wasn’t too far in when the speculation started:
Why isn’t Jones making an immediate difference?
Why isn’t LeBeau doing more with Jones? He always holds back rookies!
Yes, LeBeau is gone and it should be different, but how different? It takes time to make that transition and for some it is a longer time than others.
Will Dupree’s talents make his transition shorter, longer, or not at all?
In my opinion, the overall defense may have some growing pains, regardless of Dupree’s ability. Maybe the defense will be awesome from the start, but I doubt it.
Dupree’s ready to pitch in where ever he is asked to and in the end, isn’t that all the Steeler Nations can ask of a rookie?
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