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Catching up with: Jeff Bryant
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Jeff Bryant was in town recently as part of the 30th-anniversary celebration for the first playoff team in Seahawks’ history. That’s when we caught up with the team’s first-round draft choice from 1982:
What he did: Everything, and then some. Let’s start with the fact that Bryant is the only player in franchise history to have started at all four positions on the defensive line – right end (1982-89), right tackle (1990), left tackle (1991) and left end (1992-93). He also was a member of the “Diehards,” joining Jacob Green and Joe Nash in the trio that started – and finished – most games from 1982-89. Bryant’s 167 starts rank No. 5 in club history. He’s also third in sacks (63), second in yards lost on sacks (469) and sixth in tackles (689); as well as tied for second in blocked PATs (two) and fourth in blocked field goals (three). He is, arguably, the best defensive player in franchise history who was not voted the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team. He finished third in the balloting at defensive end behind Green, the all-time sack leader (116); and Michael Sinclair, who is second in sacks (73.5). “I enjoyed the experience here,” Bryant said. “I wouldn’t trade anything for it, and I’d do it all again if I could.”
What he’s doing: Living in the Atlanta area, and lamenting that he doesn’t have even more time to fish. “I’d also like to lose 30 or 40 pounds,” he said with a laugh.
If I could have dinner with anyone – living or dead – it would be: “Wow. That’s a crazy question. There could be a long list of people. I would have to say Martin Luther King, Jr.”
Must-see TV: “I used to like that ‘24’ series. I used to get a kick out of that. I don’t know why they took it off.”
The best book I’ve ever read: “I don’t know. You’re taxing my long-term memory. That’s just too tough to come up with.”
You don’t say
My best memory as a Seahawk: “I remember that Cincinnati game (in 1984, when the Seahawks beat the Bengals 26-6), when a snowball hit me right before the ball was snapped. I was in front of (Hall of Fame tackle) Anthony Munoz and that big fullback, Larry Kinnebrew. I had an inside-move stunt on, so I beat Munoz inside with a rip and then Kinnebrew picked me up and beat him inside. The quarterback (Turk Schonert) was sitting in the end zone and I hit him with a safety. It was wild that I got hit with a snowball right before the ball was snapped.”
Something most people don’t know about me: “That I’m kind of quiet, kind of a shy type of guy. I enjoyed what I did as far as playing football, so you would think I was a rowdy-type person. But I’m not. I’m kind of laid back and kind of keep to myself.”
If I could relive one day in my life: “Probably the day that I was drafted. That was a great experience coming up here. They flew me from Clemson to Atlanta, where my mom met me at the airport and gave me a suit to bring. They flew me to Seattle. They put me in first class. I was like, ‘Wow, this is something else.’ Then at the airport, they put me in a helicopter and flew me to the team facility. That was my first time on a helicopter. That was a great time that day. That was a great day in my life.”