Antonio Bryant NFL Stats
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Antonio Bryant NFL Game Log
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Free Agent Team Injury Report
Bryant signed with Seattle just before training camp and walks into a pretty good WR situation as the Seahawks are searching for a starting split end opposite Sidney Rice. But Bryant has been out of the league for two years and had modest skills to begin with. If he doesn't blow away the competition in training camp, he'll likely need a injury to one of his fellow wideouts to make the squad.
Because of the Tampa Bay quarterback carousel, Bryant disappointed last season - at least compared to his career year in 2008. That said, it wasn't all bad. Bryant managed 15.4 yards per catch (an increase from the year before) and had two receptions of 40 yards or more in 13 games while playing in a terrible passing environment. Bryant should be in a better spot this season with Carson Palmer, now another year removed from his elbow injury, throwing him the ball. At 6-1, 192, Bryant is a physical receiver, willing to go over the middle to move the chains, but also has enough speed and quickness to shake defenders down field. Moreover, his running mate, Chad Ochocinco, has rarely been used in the red zone during his career, so Bryant could be Palmer's go-to guy from in close - though rookie tight end, Jermaine Gresham could also be in the mix.
Maybe a year off was just what the doctor ordered.
Bryant missed all of 2007 due to a suspension and a subsequent failed drug test, but returned to put up career numbers in 2008. While Bryant was fortunate to land on a team in need of a No. 1 receiver, he also made the most of his 137 targets (tied for 12th) by averaging 9.1 yards every time his number was called (8th among 100-target WRs).
Bryant was also effective down the field, with 16 catches for 20-plus (tied for 9th), four catches of 40-plus (tied for 14th) and a 15-yard-per-catch average, despite being on the receiving end of passes thrown by soft-tossers Jeff Garcia and Brian Griese. At 6-1, 192, Bryant has good size, decent speed and the shiftiness to shake defenders after the catch. He runs good routes and is not afraid to make catches in traffic in order to move the chains.
Bryant wasn’t used much from in close last year (16 red-zone looks, but just one of those was from 10 yards and in), but we wouldn’t read too much into that with wholesale changes coming to the coaching staff, front office and quarterback position for 2009.
Head coach Raheem Morris is a defensive guy, so offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski will likely determine how often the team throws from in close. Jagodzinski helmed a wide open offense as head coach of Boston College, (and helped develop quarterback Matt Ryan), so there’s some chance Tampa will be a downfield passing team. Keep in mind however that Byron Leftwich, Luke McCown and rookie Josh Freeman will be vying for the quarterback job, and the team might elect to be more conservative as a result. Moreover, the Bucs acquired tight end Kellen Winslow who could see many of the red-zone targets.
Finally, the Bucs designated Bryant as their franchise player, and Bryant reluctantly accepted. He’ll be well paid in 2009, but he’s got no job security and is once again playing for a new deal.
Bryant averaged nearly 60 yards and seven targets per game over the 2005-2006 seasons before his one-year drug suspension. With his checkered past, he's a lottery ticket, but the Bucs could use his size and presence on downfield routes; if he's healthy and back to previous form, there isn't much stopping him from getting first-string playing time with the Bucs.
He’s not going to win any Citizen of the Year awards, but Bryant is a big receiver who runs good routes, can shake defenders after the catch and isn’t afraid to get physical in the middle of the field. Even on the 49ers he managed 18.2 yards per catch, 8.2 yards per target and three receptions of more than 40 yards. Of course, at press time, he’s a free agent, and no matter where he winds up, he’s going to miss two games due to a league-imposed suspension for drunk driving. If you draft Bryant, be sure to hire Chip Namias to handle your public relations.
Bryant had a good season a year ago, especially when you consider that he was working with Trent Dilfer and rookie Charlie Frye. Bryant caught 56 percent of his targets, and averaged a respectable 8.2 yards per attempt. While Bryant doesn’t have the speed to beat defenses deep – he caught just two passes of 40 yards or more – he’s an excellent route-runner and has the quickness to make defenders miss after the catch. At 6-1, 192, Bryant has good size and the toughness to go over the middle and make the tough catch in traffic. Of course, Bryant’s new location doesn’t figure to be any more passing-game friendly than Cleveland was, as second-year signal caller Alex Smith figures to be learning on the job again.
Bryant could be poised for a breakout year in 2005, as he came on strong for the Browns at the end of 2004. Look for him to be the No. 2 receiver on a deep receiving corps for the Browns.
Heading into his third year, Bryant was third on the Cowboys' depth chart behind Keyshawn Johnson and Terry Glenn. All of that could change with his mid-season trade to the Browns, but only time will tell if he can emerge from the pack of Browns receivers.
Bryant had an up-and-down rookie year -- he clicked with Quincy Carter, but for the most part struggled when Chad Hutchinson was at the helm until his 7 catch, 170 yard explosion in Week 17. He has the talent to be a #1 receiver in the NFL; the only question is whether his maturity, and the unsettled QB situation, allow him to reach that potential this year.