CALGARY - Romby Bryant is talking like a guy that’s been reunited with an old friend.
Or just found a cure for homesickness.
“It feels good to finally get back to the endzone. It feels really good,” grinned the fleet-footed Calgary Stampeders receiver, who has scored four touchdowns in the past two weeks, more than the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Toronto Argonauts combined.
“It’s just like anything — once you get that first one, the second one is always going to be easier.”
Bryant made it look easy last season, constantly scribbling his name in the endzone guestbook. The speedy wideout led the three-down football ranks with
15 receiving touchdowns, racking up 1,170 yards on 78 grabs.
Through 13 regular-season outings this summer and fall, the 31-year-old product of the NCAA Tulsa Golden Hurricane program has 528 yards on 42 receptions, including five touchdowns.
Bryant had three majors at Touchdown Atlantic II, making him one of few bright spots for the Stamps in a 55-36 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Moncton. He scored again in the third quarter of Sunday’s 40-3 thumping of the Roughriders.
Despite only one trip to the endzone in the first 11 games and a seven-game slump without a major, Bryant now sits second on the Stamps’ touchdown charts this season.
“Romby was our touchdown bandit last year. He was always the guy that would pop open and he’d be kind of the Johnny on the Spot guy,” said Stamps quarterback Henry Burris. “It’s kind of getting back to that now. Other guys were getting the touchdowns early on, but now he’s that guy that when certain plays are called, they’re taking away other guys but here comes 83 and ... touchdown!
“When that guy is one-on-one with certain people, he’s going to make things happen. He’s done it countless times for us and it’s been good to see him get in the endzone and have some fun the past couple of weeks.”
Bryant was certainly having fun after his five-yard touchdown against the Riders, when he was joined in the endzone by fellow receiver Johnny Forzani for a one-of-a-kind celebration.
Most figured it was a mock tennis match, but Bryant explained after Sunday’s rundown that it was actually an impromptu performance of Penny Pong, which is a hip-hop website promoting the next wave of planking.
“I felt like I was Andre Agassi or somebody,” Bryant said.
What he’s looking like is the Romby Bryant of 2010, a guy that always seemed to be on the fast-track to the endzone.
“Romby is a guy that Hank trusts. He knows he’s going to be there. You saw on the touchdown the other night, Hank didn’t have his first read and looked back and Romby was exactly where he’s supposed to be,” said Stamps receivers coach Pete Costanza.
“Nothing is different. It’s just starting to work out right now,” he added. “He works too hard in practice and he’s too much of a pro not to be in synch with Henry. You saw what he did last year. Obviously, the bar was set high and last year is last year — you can’t repeat it. But we told Romby every week, ‘Don’t worry about it, you’re going to get your touches. You’re going to get your looks.’ And it’s starting to come around now.”
On Twitter: @SUNGilbertson