Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, so he figures if he offers advice to active players, they should listen.
But Irvin says that when he’s talked to the current corps of Cowboys receivers, he’s found that Miles Austin listens, while Roy Williams tunes him out.
The Dallas Morning News reports Irvin said on his radio show today that he took both Austin and Williams aside in training camp and gave them both tips on the nuances of playing wide receiver in the NFL — things like catching the ball against your body when going over the middle. Austin, according to Irvin, was receptive and eager to be coached.
Williams was not.
As evidence that Austin listened to him and Williams didn’t, Irvin said that when he talked to both of them, he impressed upon them the importance of anticipating the snap count to get off the ball quickly. But, Irvin says, when he watched both Austin and Williams run deep routes on the same play, Austin got a four-yard lead on Williams.
Austin has been a pleasant surprise this season, while Williams has been a major disappointment. Irvin may be exaggerating his own importance in mentoring the Cowboys’ receivers — he’s not on the coaching staff, after all — but as long as Austin keeps outplaying the much higher-paid Williams, we can expect Irvin to continue to use his radio show to rip Williams and praise Austin.