Bryant returning for a sixth season with the Bombers


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When we last saw Stanley Bryant, the 6-5, 306-pound left tackle was whooping it up in downtown Winnipeg, riding shirtless in sub-zero conditions during a Grey Cup victory parade.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/01/2020 (1163 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

When we last saw Stanley Bryant, the 6-5, 306-pound left tackle was whooping it up in downtown Winnipeg, riding shirtless in sub-zero conditions during a Grey Cup victory parade.

Clearly, the thrill of playoff football and bone-chilling championship parades agree with North Carolina product.

On Monday, the Blue Bombers announced their perennial all-star offensive lineman would be returning for his sixth season in Winnipeg.

Bryant, who turns 34 on May 7, was a pending free agent before agreeing to a one-year deal with the CFL club.

He said he was not interested in testing the open market next month and had no issues with the short term. With Jermarcus Hardrick and Pat Neufeld also recently re-upping with the Blue Bombers, Michael Couture is the only remaining unsigned O-lineman.

“I think that’s a thing around the league now — a lot of one-year deals are getting made,” said Bryant during a conference call with reporters from his home in Goldsboro, N.C., Monday afternoon. “Each year you’ve gotta prove yourself either way. Nothing is guaranteed to you in football so I think it’s a great thing that you sign a one-year deal and go out and play.”

Bryant, who also won a Grey Cup with the Calgary Stampeders in 2014, admitted his off-season routine has been just that — routine.

“I think for me everything has been just fun,” he said. “(It) was a helluva job that we got to the Grey Cup and we finally won after 29 years… It was great to get to the Grey Cup and win it but as for me, nothing really has changed. I’m excited for the guys who have never been to a Grey Cup and for them to experience it is awesome and to win it was big for those guys. I was just happy to be a part of it.”

Bryant has also made winning awards standard. He was a West Division and CFL all-star in 2013, ’14, ’17, ’18 and ’19 while also winning the league’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award in 2017 and ’18.

In 2019, he was a finalist for the award won by Chris Van Zeyl of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

“I’m not gonna say it bugged me,” said Bryant. “Do I think I deserved it? I think I deserve it every year. But that’s just me having the confidence in myself and knowing my ability and how I approach the game of football. We won the Grey Cup. We ended the drought. That’s an even better award than winning Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman.”

Bryant has displayed impressive durability by starting 90 consecutive regular-season games since first signing with Winnipeg in 2015 and said there should be no reason for him not to excel in 2020.

“We’re not doing a lot of running and things like that, that you need speed… that’s for other skill guys,” he said. “You’ll be able to tell those guys reach their peak at a certain age. But I feel fine. My body is fine, my mental is fine. I can go out there and be the best each and every week.

“I’m not going to say it’s my peak. I’m just going to continue to get better. I want to say, like fine wine, you know? As it ages, it gets better. Hopefully it stays that way and I continue to be the best that I can be.”


Change is coming for the Blue Bombers, whether they like it or not.

Offensive co-ordinator Paul LaPolice recently bolted for Ottawa where he has been installed as the new head coach of the Redblacks. Winnipeg quarterbacks coach Buck Pierce is widely expected to be his successor.

“He’s been around for a while,” said Bryant of Pierce. “He played in the league. He had a lot of great years as a CFL quarterback, so he has a clear understanding of any offence. If Buck gets the chance to step in and take over that position, I’m sure he’ll take over things in the right way.

“He’s learned things from LaPo as well, and other coaches in the CFL. So it’ll be an upgrade to have Buck as an OC, if things happen that way.”

Bryant was also quizzed on his preference for No. 1 quarterback, with Matt Nichols, Zach Collaros and Chris Streveler all pending free agents.



“I have no idea,” said Bryant. “I’m not gonna put a GM hat on. Not my decision. That’s a decision for (GM) Kyle (Walters) and our organization. But I’m pretty sure we’ll make the best decision for the team.”

Bryant’s connection to the Blue Bombers is best exemplified by his affinity for the other members of the O-line.

“We have a tight core,” said Bryant. “Me, Paddy, Jermarcus, we’re the longest tenured on the offensive line. Us three and all the rest of the offensive line, we’re always going out to eat together, always doing something together, to get us closer and keep us as tight a group as we can be.

“Every year we have to find ways to keep that group tight, and that could be eating, or someone cooking for us, movies – whatever it can be. It’s just something we love to do as a unit. And I appreciate it. I know they appreciate me. I appreciate those guys.”

NOTEWORTHY: The Blue Bombers also announced the signing of two Americans — defensive end Justin Alexandre and linebacker Dylan Donahue. Alexandre is 6-5 and 256 pounds and from the University of the Incarnate Word. Donahue is a 6-3, 247 pounder from West Georgia.

Twitter: @sawa14

Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky

Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.

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