OAKVILLE – It was just over six months ago that Romby Bryant found himself sitting on the visitor’s sideline at Rogers Centre looking on as the Toronto Argonauts celebrated a historic 35-22 victory in the 100th Grey Cup championship game.
Fast-forward to 2013 and the former Calgary Stampeder is now a member of the defending Grey Cup Champions. The veteran All-Star receiver is in unfamiliar territory participating in training camp in a new city with a new team.
“Last year was kind of bitter-sweet that we made it to the championship but didn’t win it,” commented Bryant following a recent Argonauts’ practice. “Toronto was one of the teams that called me and showed real interest so that’s how I ended up here.”
The 33-year-old is entering his sixth season in the CFL and has spent the past three-plus years in Calgary as a member of the Stampeders. The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma native is in an adjustment phase, still attempting to learn all the aspects of Scott Milanovich and Marcus Brady’s intricate offence.
“I’m one of the last in line the way I see it because everybody else has had a chance to get in the playbook,” said Bryant. “The vets ran it last year and the rookies have been here for a couple of days when they had rookie camp so they’ve been in the playbook.”
Bryant, who signed with the Argonauts as a free agent during the off-season, is also adjusting to a new position. The six-foot-one, 191-pound veteran is lining up at slotback after spending a majority of his CFL career at the wide receiver position.
While he has only had a few days to adapt to his new role as a slotback, Argonauts head coach Scott Milanovich is impressed with the progress Bryant has made within the team’s offensive system.
“I think he’s doing a really good job,” stated Milanovich. “Romby is one of the few receivers that didn’t have the benefit of going to mini-camp or rookie camp and mentally it’s often tough. We switched positions with him in one day and he’s done a really good job.”
Over the course of the past three-plus seasons with Calgary, Bryant registered 211 catches for 3,028 yards and 22 touchdown receptions. Bryant’s best statistical season in the Canadian Football League came in 2010 when he recorded 78 catches for 1,170 yards and a league-best 15 touchdown receptions.
Bryant is also a proven playoff performer as he has registered 495 yards receiving and four touchdown receptions in just seven career post-season games. In 2012, Bryant scored the game-winning touchdown in a thrilling 36-30 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Western Semi-Final. He registered a total of eight receptions for 202 yards and two touchdowns during the Stampeders’ playoff run.
However, despite all of his previous accolades and professional accomplishments, Bryant understands that he will have to make a significant impression if he hopes to earn a spot in a very competitive Argonauts receiving core.
“This receiving core is very deep. I have to make plays whenever I can, whenever I get a chance, and really get in the playbook,” said Bryant.
The two-time 1,000-yard receiver is not dwelling on the past, but rather, is excited to begin a new chapter in his career playing alongside future Hall of Fame quarterback Ricky Ray, and continuing his pursuit of that elusive first Grey Cup ring.
“Practicing with him has been good,” said Bryant. “As for playing with him, that has yet to be determined but I’m working hard to get the opportunity.”
While he continues to adjust to his new football life in Toronto, Bryant brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to an already talented Argonauts offence. His history of performing in high-pressure situations compliments the Argonauts’ young receivers. As Bryant continues to come into his own at the slotback position, he is fully committed to making the most of this opportunity for a fresh start with the Argonauts.