Matt Bryant

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This article is about the American football player. For the English football (soccer) player, see Matt Bryant (footballer).
Matt Bryant
Matt Bryant 2013.jpg
Matt Bryant in Atlanta Falcons 2013 training camp
No. 3     Atlanta Falcons
Placekicker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1975-05-29) May 29, 1975 (age 39)
Place of birth: Orange, Texas
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) Weight: 203 lb (92 kg)
Career information
High school: Bridge City (TX)
College: Baylor
Undrafted in 1999
Debuted in 2002 for the New York Giants
Career history
*Offseason and/or practice squad only
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 1, 2014
Field goals made 260
Field goals attempted 306
Field goals % 85.0
Longest field goal 62
Stats at NFL.com
Career UFL statistics as of 2009
Field goals 10/12
Field goal % 83.3
Longest field goal 41
Extra points 21/21
Stats at UFL-Football.com

Steven Matt Bryant (born May 29, 1975) is an American football placekicker for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League. He was signed by the Frankfurt Galaxy as a street free agent in 2002. He played college football at Baylor.

Bryant has also been a member of the New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Florida Tuskers.

Early years[edit]

Bryant was born in Orange, Texas. He played football and baseball at Bridge City High School in Bridge City, Texas and holds the record for the longest field goal.[1] After high school, Bryant attended Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas where he was a two-time NJCAA All-American and a member of the 1994 national championship team. He then signed with Oregon State University and later transferred to Baylor University, where he played in the 1997 and 1998 seasons and ranks seventh in the all-time scoring list with 105 points (21 field goals and 42 extra points). Bryant's 21 field goals place him fifth in Bears history. He also set the school record with a 100 percent success rate when he hit 42-42 extra points.[1] After graduating, Bryant went undrafted and worked at a pawn shop, then as a personal trainer.[1] Matthew Bryant enjoyed a brief stint at Wide Receiver for the Angola Hornets. Although he did not record a catch throughout his senior year he was popular in high school as he was voted Snowcoming King and Prom King as well. Bryant however decided to leave his future as a WR when he enrolled at Indiana University.

Professional career[edit]

NFL Europe[edit]

After not being selected in the 1999 NFL Draft, Bryant signed with Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League on November 17, 1999 after the 1999 season but was cut on April 4, 2000 before the regular season began. On January 9, 2002, Bryant signed with the NFL's New York Giants, who allocated him to the NFL Europe's Berlin Thunder on March 15. On March 30, the Thunder placed Bryant on injured reserve, and the Thunder cut Bryant on May 10. The Giants then re-assigned Bryant to the Frankfurt Galaxy. Bryant never played for either NFL Europe team due to a quadriceps injury.[2]

New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins[edit]

Originally signed by the New York Giants in 2002 as a free agent, he remained until he was cut by Tom Coughlin in the coach's initial season with the team.[3] After that release, Bryant played one week with the Indianapolis Colts and then 3 weeks with the Miami Dolphins.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers[edit]

Bryant was signed as a free agent by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prior to the 2005 season.

On October 22, 2006, Bryant successfully converted a 62-yard field goal as time expired in Tampa Bay's 23-21 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. The field goal was the second longest in NFL history (at that time), behind the 63-yarders kicked by Tom Dempsey in 1970, Jason Elam in 1998, Sebastian Janikowski in 2011,David Akers, and Matt Prater in 2013.

On October 23, 2006, in response to his 62-yard field goal, Mayor Pam Iorio declared October 23 to be "Matt Bryant Day" in Tampa, Florida.

On September 5, 2009, the Buccaneers released Bryant and replaced him with Mike Nugent. On October 5, 2009, the Buccaneers cut Nugent after he missed two field goals in Washington in the team's three point loss.

Florida Tuskers[edit]

Prior to the start of the 2009 season, the Florida Tuskers signed Bryant to a contract.

Atlanta Falcons[edit]

Bryant (right) in 2010

Bryant was signed by the Atlanta Falcons on December 1, 2009, to replace kicker, Jason Elam. In the 2012 divisional playoffs against the Seattle Seahawks, Bryant kicked the game-winning 49-yard field goal to send the Falcons to the NFC Championship Game.[4]

Personal[edit]

Bryant participated in 2002 United Way Hometown Huddle by conducting a football clinic at the Highbridge Center for members of Alianza Dominicana, a local United Way agency that services families in Washington Heights. He visited the Keller Army Community Hospital at West Point to participate in the Foundation for Hospital Art’s Paintfest 2003.

Bryant drinks a chocolate milkshake on the night before each of his football games. He also is known for squeezing his size 10.5 foot into a size 9 kicking shoe for games.

Matt is married to Melissa and the couple had six children.[5] On September 24, 2008, their youngest son Tryson died in his sleep, age three months, apparently from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).[6] Despite that tragedy, a day after his son's funeral, he returned to play and kicked three field goals for the team to beat Green Bay Packers, having kicked the game-winning field goal the week before against Chicago Bears in overtime.

After the season, Matt and Melissa established the Matthew Tryson Bryant Foundation to raise awareness for SIDS. Proceeds go to the March of Dimes.[1][7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Asher, Matthew (2012-10-09). "The Road Less Traveled: Falcons Kicker Matt Bryant Has Seen It All". CBS Atlanta. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  2. ^ "Matt Bryant". New York Giants. Archived from the original on August 12, 2004. 
  3. ^ Gola, Hank (2012-01-06). "Giants Atlanta Falcons Matt Bryant is still kicking after NY Giants signed the former Texas pawn shop worker in 2002". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  4. ^ Newberry, Paul (2013-01-13). "Bryant's late FG lifts Falcons over Seattle 30-28". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  5. ^ Stroud, Rick (2008-09-25). "Son of Bucs kicker Bryant dies". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  6. ^ Bryant's infant son dies
  7. ^ Bryants to kick off drive to help infants from ESPN.com, June 11, 2009