Veteran Red Bryant excited for opportunity with Cardinals

Nov 26, 2015, 1:59 PM | Updated: Nov 28, 2015, 10:35 am
Jacksonville Jaguars' Red Bryant (79) stretches before the start of an NFL football game between th...
Jacksonville Jaguars' Red Bryant (79) stretches before the start of an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014 in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Red Bryant was planning on spending Thanksgiving with his family in Texas.

A veteran of seven NFL seasons, he last played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and before that spent six seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.

“I got a call yesterday,” Bryant said Thursday. “They flew me out yesterday evening, I worked out today and they signed me.

“So I’m excited for the opportunity and looking forward to doing everything I can to help this team continue to have success like they’ve been having all year.”

The Cardinals brought the 31-year-old defensive tackle into the fold Thursday after placing linebacker LaMarr Woodley on injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle.

In 16 games with the Jaguars last season — all starts — he tallied 22 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and two tackles for loss. In his career, the former fourth-round pick in 2008 out of Texas A&M has amassed 142 total tackles, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two interceptions, seven passes defensed and 14 tackles for loss.

The 6-foot-4, 323-pound Bryant has always been a solid player and appears to be a nice addition at this point in the season, which sort of makes you wonder why he was even still available.

“The first team that I was supposed to sign with (after being released by the Jaguars in March) was the Patriots; great organization, I was just in a bad head space at the time,” he said. “I really thought I wanted to retire. Really had a heart-to-heart with my wife, she convinced me to give it one more shot and the Buffalo Bills gave me an opportunity, but at that particular time I wasn’t in the best shape and I couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity.”

On Sept. 5, the Bills released him.

After that, Bryant said the plan was to not play this season and instead focus on getting ready to return to the NFL next year.

“So for the Cardinals to give me this opportunity this late in the season, I hope I can take advantage of it this time around.”

The Cardinals hope so, too.

Defensive coordinator James Bettcher said the team’s history is such where a player signed during the week is very much an option to play the ensuing Sunday, so it would not be a surprise to see Bryant active and on the field when the Cardinals take on the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday. The rotation, he said, will be worked out by the end of the week.

“But to have a guy of his caliber, we all know what his history is,” Bettcher said. “He’s a hard guy to move. He has played winning football, understands what it takes to win and can help reinforce that culture here that we’re building. He’s been there and done that in this division, so obviously another important piece. I think we really feel like he’s a great addition.”

Though he’s started 71 of 80 games as a professional — and 63 of a possible 64 over the last four seasons — Bryant said the coaches told him nothing about a role other than that they brought him because they think he can help.

“If I do my part, I’ll create a role for myself,” he said.

That process will begin in practice this week and may carry over into Sunday’s game, and if he’s put out on the field, Bryant said he will do what he’s always done: play his heart out. He admitted he’s not in the best football shape right now, adding the only way to get there is playing. 

“But I was in good enough shape that they feel confident to give me the opportunity,” he said. “So it’s on me what I do with it from here on out.”

Life Changer Loans


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles safety Marc...
Arizona Sports

Larry Fitzgerald, Pedro Gomez in 2022 Arizona Sports Hall of Fame class

Arizona Cardinals legend Larry Fitzgerald and late journalist Pedro Gomez are among the 2022 class entering the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.
13 hours ago
The Arizona Cardinals defense celebrate and pose for a picture in front of a media photographer aft...
Arizona Sports

Hard Knocks In Season: The Arizona Cardinals to debut Nov. 9

The premier date for Hard Knocks In Season: The Arizona Cardinals is set for Wednesday, Nov. 9 on HBO and HBO Max.
2 days ago
Deshaun Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns takes off his helmet as he warms up during the Cleveland ...
Associated Press

Deshaun Watson suspension appeal ‘right thing to do,’ says Roger Goodell

Commissioner Roger Goodell said he feels the NFL needed to keep pushing for a year-long suspension for Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals RB Eno Benjamin runs through drills during the Red & White practice on Saturday, ...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals notebook: RB Eno Benjamin’s confidence ‘through the roof’

It's all about staying locked into the moment when Cardinals RB Eno Benjamin gets the starting nod against the Bengals on Friday.
2 days ago
Cortez Davis #18 of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors makes an interception against Jalen Cropper #5 of t...
Jake Anderson

Arizona Cardinals sign rookie cornerback Cortez Davis

The Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday signed rookie cornerback Cortez Davis, adding depth to a highly-competitive position battle.
2 days ago
The Cincinnati Bengals announced Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, that Paul Brown Stadium will be called Payc...
Associated Press

Cardinals visit Bengals on Friday at renamed Paycor Stadium

The home of the Cincinnati Bengals will no longer carry the name of team founder and NFL pioneer Paul Brown.
2 days ago
Veteran Red Bryant excited for opportunity with Cardinals