Fellow Lions receiver Nate Burleson chimed in on Tuesday, telling Bryant "to get real" because "there was no comparison."
Bryant did his best to set the record straight during a conference call with the Detroit media on Wednesday when he acknowledged that he even reached out to Johnson via text to clarify on Tuesday.
Here is part of the transcript from Bryant and the Detroit media in his own words.
“You sound like that guy who was boosting that [stuff] with Nate Burleson,” said Bryant to an initial question about him comparing himself of Johnson as the best receiver in the league. “Nah, but seriously, I wasn’t comparing myself at all. I think a lot of people took it the wrong way. Clearly I said there’s no comparison. That’s something that I do not do. I don’t compare myself with anybody. When you get to comparing yourself with others, that’s when you start to have a downside. To answer your question, what I was saying was is I can make catches and all of that and things he can do, you know, I can do. I wasn’t saying it as it was just me who was able to do it. I’m pretty sure the next guy would say the same exact thing. I think it’s just a pride thing, like I said. Calvin Johnson set the standard, set that bar high for every wide receiver in the league. I think it’s the respect, it’s really respect to him that he makes receivers like us go out there and try to be out there.”
Is Calvin the best in the league?
“Are you seriously going to ask me that question?”
“We really don’t, but I shot him a text message yesterday. I’m not going to tell you all what it said but it basically just talking about this kind of stuff here.”
We want to be clear about setting the bar?
“He broke Jerry Rice’s record last year. That’s setting the bar for every receiver in the league,. That’s what I’m saying.”
Is it good to have confidence in yourself?
"What I’m saying is even if this conversation wasn’t even about the situation that you all try to make it out between, I’ve got confidence each and every week. That’s just the kind of guy I am. I have confidence on the practice field. That’s just the type of guy that I am.”
So this Calvin Johnson-Dez Bryant thing is a non issue in your eyes?
“Yes. Really, this is a non-issue. This is not a comparison. There’s nothing to compare.”
Do you and Calvin have a relationship?
Where does your confidence come from?
“You know, when you see guys like Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, you know, go out each and every week. While they was in the NFL, I was still in college, I was just getting to college. This was the crazy thing when I hear all this comparison stuff because I have always been one of Calvin’s biggest fans. I watch him. I watch all those other guys. Just the attitude that they have on the field, those are the things you want to take from those guys and add it to your game. I think that’s where a lot of that kind of stuff comes from. From guys like that, Calvin, Larry, Andre Johnson, Brandon Marshall, those type of guys.”