Bankroll, beach can’t distract Hardy (Football)

July 28, 2011

Daniel Hardy

He just made the biggest bank deposit of his life, but don’t expect Tampa Bay Bucs rookie Daniel Hardy of Anchorage to go on a spending spree.

Maybe later, though.

“Once you make the team,” Hardy told me.

The 23-year-old tight end was a seventh-round draft pick in April and signed a contract this week on the heels of the end of the NFL lockout. The deal included a $49,500 signing bonus.

Hardy, of West High fame, was glad to get it done.

“I wouldn’t say it was a relief,” he said. “I think it’s more of a stepping stone because, you know, there’s a lot more that I want to accomplish. It’s a good start but there’s a lot more hard work to do. That’s just where my focus is now.”

He doesn’t have time to get distracted by dollar bills.

“I never let that phase me,” he said. “God giveth and he taketh away. If you get too caught up on that I think … some people are motivated by money. It’s definitely something that God willing I will be able to support my family one day, and I could use that as motivation, but I don’t get too caught up in the numbers and feeling like I gotta splurge. There’s a lot more hard work to do.”

Hardy said the Bucs officially start practice tomorrow. “But it’s only helmets,” he added.

He will wear No. 88.

In the two weeks since he’s been in town, Hardy has been getting used to his surroundings as well as getting himself familiar with his the phonebook-thick playbook.

“It’s crazy,” Hardy said. “That’s definitely the most difficult aspect thus far. Once you get that down you can start playing fast and not thinking and doing what you did in college. It’s a huge aspect, that learning curve.

“I think the quicker you can learn it the more impressed the coaches will be. They are going to play the people they trust. They understand you haven’t had it so if you can pick it up this quick then they know they have somebody they can work with, so that’s my whole mindset.”