Bryant one big catch

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

There was a feeling of deja vu with the scene yesterday at Calgary Stampeders practice.

Receiver Romby Bryant falling backwards against the coverage of cornerback Brandon Browner, grabbing a pass just before it hits the ground.

The same thing happened last season, as Bryant grabbed a game-winning TD in similar fashion while with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Now, the pair are teammates after Bryant and Canadian receiver Arjei Franklin were traded to the Stamps Sunday for three players and two draft picks.

"I'm still mad about that one he caught on me," Browner said. "He's another good player who can help us get to the Grey Cup.

"He brings some speed and it is good to go against another No.-1 receiver. He will fill in the void with those guys down.

"This is a good deal. We have the pieces on defence set. We need somebody to be that deep threat and he provides that. He's a fast receiver who is agile, and he has great hands."

Bryant moves to the outside position originally occupied by Ken-Yon Rambo, who went down with a season-ending knee injury, and then Ryan Thelwell, who suffered a season-ending Achilles tear Friday in Hamilton.

The Stamps could get another bonus with Browner set to return after missing three games with a sprained knee.

"It's great to be back out there," Browner said. "It's hard for me to watch from the sidelines. I've gained from watching from a different perspective.

"I have fresh legs. I felt like a guy who hadn't practised in four weeks. I will probably be a little sluggish tomorrow."

Bryant didn't speak to the media much in Winnipeg, but he met the masses yesterday following his first practice.

The 29-year-old Tulsa product just played Sunday for the Blue Bombers in a loss at Montreal, so he took limited reps with the Stamps.

Bryant was a major force with the Bombers last season, catching 65 passes for 1,206 yards and nine touchdowns.

But he wasn't a big part of the offence this season in Winnipeg as the team struggled first with Stefan LeFors at the helm and now Michael Bishop. He knows there is much expected of him in Calgary playing the 'W' spot.

He only has 20 catches for 232 yards and no TDs this season, but this is a fresh start.

"There is a little pressure in Rambo's spot because he led the league in receiving last year," Bryant said. "I have big shoes to fill."

Bryant was offered a chance to diss the struggling Bombers, but instead took the high road.

"It's for the best," he said.

"It's my first time getting traded. This is a new start, at a new place and new team.

"I'm just glad to be playing. I'm not worried about where it was at. I'm just glad Calgary is giving me a chance.

"I'm happy for this opportunity. I'm proud of it. Nothing seems better than Calgary now."

As for facing Browner more often than twice a year, Bryant is excited.

"It's good to get to face one of the best DBs every day," he said.

IAN.BUSBY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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