Browns’ Bryant has moved on from arrest
Browns defensive lineman Desmond Bryant put on a much better
face than the one that went viral recently.
Bryant, who signed a five-year, $34 million free agent contract
with Cleveland earlier this week, apologized Thursday for his
recent arrest, which was followed by his infamous police mug shot –
his eyes half closed, his tongue sticking out – that became a
social media target and was lampooned by late-night TV talk show
host Jimmy Kimmel.
Bryant was arrested in Miami on Feb. 24 on a misdemeanor charge
of criminal mischief. The former Oakland Raiders lineman allegedly
entered a neighbor’s house inebriated and caused a commotion,
according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
”I obviously made a mistake,” Bryant said, moments after
posing for photos holding his new No. 92 Browns jersey. ”I
apologize for everything that happened, but I feel like I’ve
learned from it and I’ve moved on from that. I think I’ve done
enough over the years I’ve been in the league to exhibit that’s
really not the person that I am.
”And I think that in time, I’ll be able to show you guys and
whoever else wants to know, that’s really not indicative of
The Browns believe in his character and feel the 6-foot-6,
311-pounder will be a huge asset to their defense, overhauled in
free agency with the signings of Bryant, pass-rusher Paul Kruger
and linebacker Quentin Groves.
Browns coach Rob Chudzinski likes everything about Bryant,
especially that he overcame long odds to make it to the NFL.
Undrafted out of Harvard, Bryant was signed by the Raiders in 2009
and has played in 63 regular-season games, missing just one in four
seasons. He has 124 career tackles and 11 1/2 sacks.
”He’s got a chip on his shoulder,” Chudzinski said. ”What
he’s done with his career is a testament to his hard work. He’s a
self-made man in that way, so those are the type of guys that we
want to be here that have that type of attitude, that chip on their
shoulder to be a great player and be the best.”
Bryant’s been driven since a young age. His dream was always to
make it to the pros, and visualized a day when he would sign a huge
”I’ve always had a vision, even as a young boy, that I was
going to play in the NFL,” he said. ”So, yes. I never knew what
kind of numbers that were going to be on the contract or anything.
As I got older and I got to the league I saw what other people were
making and that was always a goal of mine – to be paid like the
elite player I think I’ve developed into.”
The arrival of Bryant and Kruger has given the Browns extra
depth in its defensive front, which is vital with the team
switching from a 4-3 base to an aggressive, 3-4 multi-front scheme
under new coordinator Ray Horton, who used that system in
With the change, and players perhaps not being suited to play in
a 3-4 front, there has been speculation the Browns might trade
tackle Phil Taylor or Ahtyba Rubin. However, CEO Joe Banner
dispelled the notion the team would deal any of its down
”Our purpose has been to get a really strong unit, have some
depth so we can rotate, so if we have any injuries, the line will
still be one of the primary assets of the team,” Banner said.
”That’s what we feel like we’re achieving. We’re not looking to be
Bryant said he’s excited about Cleveland’s defensive front, and
feels he’ll fit wherever the Browns decide to play him.
”My versatility will really help with the front seven,” he
said. ”I can play end, I can play nose, nickel packages or base
packages. I can do either or. I think one of my strengths as a
player is being able to rush the passer and affect the quarterback.
Having the ability to move around as well as use my rushing
abilities I think I can really excel in this defense.”
The Browns would not have made a substantial investment in
Bryant if they had any concerns about his character. Banner said
the club was thorough in making sure they were getting a player
devoid of any baggage.
”We looked at everything we could,” Banner said. ”We know
people that know Desmond very well. Our new strength and
conditioning coach (Brad Roll) was with him in Oakland last year.
So we evaluated the situation, we looked at his history and felt
very comfortable that he fit the profile of what we’re looking for
NOTES: Banner would not reveal who represented the Browns at
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith’s pro day in Morgantown. …
Banner said the signings of Kruger and Bryant would be the biggest
made by the club in free agency, but ”if we’re as lucky in getting
what we want, they won’t be the last moves we’ll make.” … The
Browns are believed to be in the market for a cornerback, but some
good ones – Sean Smith, Keenan Lewis and Cary Williams – signed
free agent deals elsewhere on Thursday.