email this print this Posted on Sun, Aug. 01, 2004 I M A G E S STAR-TELEGRAM/TOM PENNINGTON With training camp opening Saturday, coach Bill Parcells puts the Cowboys through their first workout in California. STAR-TELEGRAM/TOM PENNINGTON Running back Aveion Cason was a hit with fans seeking autographs after Saturday's morning practice. NOTES Bryant apologizes for blowup By Jennifer Floyd Engel Star-Telegram Staff Writer OXNARD, Calif. - Cowboys wide receiver Antonio Bryant was thoughtful and apologetic Saturday, but he was also himself. Talking for the first time since a June incident during which he tossed a jersey in coach Bill Parcells' face, Bryant said he was wrong but has learned from his mistake. He also flashed a little bit of humor. "I wasn't worried about [being kicked off the team]. I didn't feel that I did something treacherous, that I came in there with Uzies and shot up the whole camp or nothing like that," Bryant said. "But I knew I was wrong, and I had to be a man and stand up to that and face whatever comes my way." What came his way, as a result, was a "lengthy," face-to-face meeting Monday with Parcells. "It was just mostly him talking," Bryant said. "We just came to an understanding [of] some situations that I was worried about that caused me to do some things and act that way. He pretty much brought to my attention that if you can't control it, why worry about it." The "situations" Bryant was referring to were partially his spot as the third receiver behind Keyshawn Johnson and Terry Glenn. That was just the surface. He had struggled being behind Glenn and Joey Galloway in 2003, and when Johnson, another of Parcells' former players, was brought in, Bryant felt as if he'd never get a chance to become a superstar. "It definitely wasn't a single day. That would be crazy man," Bryant said. "I'm a little crazy but not that crazy." What Parcells was finally able to convey to Bryant was that he had to prove himself, like Johnson and Glenn had, to get that kind of treatment. What Bryant was able to convey to Parcells was that he desperately wanted to be a part of this team. "I never want him to feel like I disrespected him," Bryant said. "That was just the heat of the moment. That's somebody I really respect, and a lot of things he's told me, before in the past, was what made me give that respect. When we came in, first things first, I apologized for my actions, and he carried on. He just let me know what needed to be done and what couldn't be done anymore, and so on and so forth." In Bryant's mind, the issue is in the past. He is just another guy in training camp trying to prove to Parcells that he is an important part of the team. Parcells agrees. When asked about Bryant on Saturday, Parcells said: "Are we going to have an Antonio vigil now every day? He was fine. He's fine." Size a concern Last season, the Cowboys decided not to use cornerback Terence Newman on kick returns, despite his success in college running back kicks, because they didn't want to take a chance on injury. Newman is a little bigger this season, but Bill Parcells said he still has no plans to use him on returns. "I'm reluctant to use Newman because Newman is not a big kid," Parcells said. "He's not thick. The guys that I've had that have been good returners are a little bit more lower center of gravity guys than Terence was." Parcells said he would like to use rookie running back Julius Jones as a kickoff returner. Parcells said the presence of Eddie George and Richie Anderson at running back allows him the flexibility to use Jones on returns. Stepping it up The tough conditioning run Bill Parcells put the Cowboys through Friday before the start of training camp consisted of three 300-yard shuttle runs. Parcells said not all the players completed the drill in their allotted time, but the great majority did. Parcells wouldn't say whether guard Larry Allen finished the drill on time. But a good sign that Allen is at least trying to improve his conditioning from last year was the sight of him doing extra running after practice Saturday. Staff Writer Clarence E. Hill Jr. contributed to this report.