Mike Pope decided to retire from the NFL, but he worked with Cowboys TE Rico Gathers last year, the final year of his three seasons with the Cowboys. Gathers, who played college basketball at Baylor before deciding to enter the NFL draft as a tight end, recently talked about some praise Pope gave him. According to Jon Machota of SportsDay, he said:
“You’re about to bring havoc to the NFL because there are no guys out there that are as tough as you. There are no guys out there that work harder than you. You got a work ethic that the NFL is really lacking. As long as you keep that work ethic up you’re going to be great, you’re going to be a Pro Bowl tight end, you’re going to be a great tight end.”
Gathers was drafted in the sixth round. He has the physical size for the NFL, but is obviously very raw. He said that he appreciated hearing those words from Pope, adding:
“When you got a guy like that who has worked with multiple tight ends, from Jeremy Shockey to Jason Witten to Martellus Bennett, just being around tight ends like that, he’s telling you stuff like that, that just really raises your confidence level and enables you to want to work even harder because you want to see that happen one day. I can’t wait to get back to the basics with my teammates and start working toward trying to do something great in Dallas.”
Gathers has yet to post a stat for the Cowboys.