Big day for Big Red, until the end
CLEVELAND – He’s one of the inspirational leaders of the defense and sets the tone for Seattle’s stingy defensive line.
But on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, burly defensive end Red Bryant made his presence known in a different capacity.
On special teams.
The 6-foot-4, 323 pounder blocked Cleveland kicker Phil Dawson’s attempts from 48 and 24 yards, the last one giving Seattle one last chance in the fourth quarter to win the game.
The Seahawks overloaded the interior of Cleveland’s offensive line, with Anthony Hargrove and Raheem Brock influencing the guard on either side of Bryant, and linebacker David Hawthorne working to push Bryant through the center.
It was the first time in franchise history that a player blocked two field goals in one game.
“With Hargrove inside, he brings so much energy,” Bryant said. “He attacks the guard low. And Raheem does a great job of attacking the outside arm. And Heater (David Hawthorne) does a great job of pushing.
“And so it was ultimately a team effort. And we knew if we just kept bringing it and sticking to the game plan, that we’ll get one. And it was a bonus we got two. And I can’t give the other guys around me enough credit, because they made it possible.”
Although the Browns rushed for 141 yards, the Seahawks held them to just 3.2 yards per carry. Bryant played an important role in the run defense, finishing with a combined four tackles.
But the fourth-year pro from Texas A&M let his emotions get the best of him at the end of the contest, getting ejected after head butting Cleveland tight end Alex Smith after Chris Clemons sacked Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy for a two-yard loss on third-and-seven from Seattle’s 23-yard line with a 1:18 left.
The Browns got an automatic first down on the personal foul call, and McCoy took two knees to end the game.
“I feel like that was a huge play at the end of the game,” Bryant said. “I’m supposed to be a leader. I’m better than that. I lose my composure and I push a guy and get ejected out of the game. You never know what’s going to happen if we give the ball back to our offense. It was just a dumb move on my part. I take full responsibility for it.”
Bryant said he and Smith had been going back and forth all day.
“He was talking (stuff) the whole game,” said Bryant, who still was pretty emotional after the game. “And he was taking cheap shots on me, and that’s what guys do when they can’t block you. He did a great job of getting in my head. I should’ve been smarter than that.”
Fellow defensive lineman Alan Branch gave Bryant a pass.
“Honestly we were emotional the whole game, just having to put our hand down and pushing another man for that long,” Branch said. “So you’re going to develop some competition. We were jabbering a little bit. It was a rough game, so the foul on him and the whole fourth quarter, we were amped up. I don’t blame the man for nothing.”
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks