Bryant’s teammates are struck by his serious demeanor.
“I call him the angry kicker,” linebacker Mike Peterson said. “He walks around like he’s angry, like he’s mad at somebody. He’s got a little linebacker in him. But he’s like that every day ... like he just missed a kick or something. I take it that he’s a hard guy, that he’s hard on himself.”
Bryant has certainly been hardened by real life.
In 2008, his 3-month-old son Matthew Tryson passed away unexpectedly, apparently from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. One day after the funeral, he returned to kicked three goals in Tampa Bay’s victory over the Green Bay Packers. The following season, after signing with the Falcons, his father succumbed to Lou Gehrig’s disease on Christmas Day. Bryant attended the funeral in Texas and rejoined the Falcons in time to kick two field goals in their season-ending victory over the Buccaneers.
Just 16 months apart, Bryant lost two of the most important people in his life. In between those life-changing events, he was cut by the Bucs and spent time in the United Football League, playing for a team known as the Florida Tuskers.
Through it all, Bryant learned an important lesson, one that he still tries to pass on to his son, his 16-month-old twins and his stepchildren.
“You learn to practice what you preach,” Bryant said. “I think about what would I tell (Tryson). I would tell him to do his best, just I like I tell my kids now to do their best. That’s all you can do.”
If there comes a time when a big kick doesn’t go through, he’ll be angry and disappointed, but not for long.
He’s so confident in what he does before goes out on the field that he can live with the result.