Seahawks DE Red Bryant has big expectations

May 9, 2012, 5:05 PM | Updated: 6:23 pm

By Liz Mathews

Seahawks defensive end Red Bryant was made available to the media on Wednesday after the voluntary non-OTA morning workout. An unrestricted free agent this offseason, Bryant re-signed with the team on Mar. 13, inking a five-year, $35 million contract that will keep him in Seattle through the 2016 season.

“It’s definitely a change,” Bryant said of his new deal. “I’ve got more security in terms of I know I’ll be here and I’m a big player moving forward in terms of what we’re trying to do on defense and I have a lot more responsibility as far as continuing to be the leader that I have become and continue to progress as a player. But other than that, it feels about the same.”

Bryant said that he has bigger expectations than just a contract.

“You hear that all the time, but I definitely want to be a guy that when my playing days are over with and they think about the Seahawks, they think about big Red Bryant,” he said. “Getting sacks, that’s my major goal. I at least want to get that major stigma off of me because I know I can get to the quarterback.”

With the arrival of head coach Pete Carroll in 2010, Bryant was given a new role on the team, converting from a defensive tackle to defensive end. Finishing that season on the injured reserve, Bryant returned last year to play in all 16 games, logging 32 tackles and a sack. Bryant also had two interceptions and four blocked kicks.

“I was always confident that I would be back,” Bryant said. “Free agency, you always hope for the best and you always kind of expect the worst in terms of maybe I would have to move my family, go to a new city. But it also gave me an opportunity to see if other teams valued me as much as the Seahawks did.”

Bryant said he was pleasantly surprised to discover that the New England Patriots had shown some interest in the offseason, and that too had contributed to the confidence he now how in his play-making ability. In addition, he has been watching his nutrition and time in the training room — “being more of a pro” and focusing on his craft.

Regarding his new teammate, defensive tackle Jason Jones, Bryant said that he sees Jones as a player who will bring a different dynamic to the team.

“I love everything about Jason Jones,” Bryant said. “He quick, extremely fast. I could see why they went out in free agency and really got after him. He does a great job of getting off the ball. He a lot longer — he’s about as tall or might even be taller than me, so I could see how he could cause a lot of confusion and he’s a lot smaller and quicker than I am.

“So it’s definitely going to be intriguing once we get in our different packages, as far as our ‘Bandit’ look and things like that.”

And as for first-round pick Bruce Irvin, Bryant said that he has already had the pleasure of meeting him.

“Watching some tape of him from West Virginia he’s definitely the kind of football player that I could see coach Carroll going after,” Bryant said. “We expect big things from him this season.”

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