Browns defensive end Armonty Bryant met with coach Rob Chudzinski upon arriving to rookie minicamp, apologized for his recent run-in with the law and vowed to change his lifestyle.
“I apologized multiple times,” Bryant said. “He just told me what he expects and what the Browns expect. So hopefully we can move forward, and I can prove [to] them that I’m not that type of person."
Bryant practiced this afternoon after pleading no contest Tuesday to driving under the influence May 3 in Ada, Okla., less than a week after the Browns drafted him in the seventh round on April 27. He received a one-year deferred sentence and arranged to pay $1,136 in fines and court costs.
Bryant entered the draft with a history of off-the-field trouble. He was arrested in October for selling $20 of marijuana twice to an undercover police officer, but the Browns still chose to take a chance on him.
The 6-foot-4, 263-pound Bryant, a former standout at Division II East Central University in Ada, said he was worried the Browns would cut ties with him after the DUI arrest. Chudzinski acknowledged the team contemplated taking that action but ultimately decided to give Bryant another chance.
“Now that Armonty’s gotten here, I had a chance to sit down with him and talk and talk about my expectations and make those expectations clear with him,” Chudzinski said. “I feel like we have a good support structure here and I feel like we have good guys in the locker room, some guys that were excellent mentors that any player that follows their example – if you look at (linebacker) D’Qwell Jackson, if you look at (wide receiver) Davone Bess and those guys – will learn how to be a professional. Ultimately, Armonty needs to show that he’s going to be accountable, and I expect that out of him.”
Chudzinski conceded he doesn’t really know yet what Bryant is like as a person, but he trusts Bryant wants to atone for the DUI.
“Well, I just met him for the first time face to face yesterday, and he’s very remorseful for the things that have happened,” Chudzinski said. “He understands me and what I expect from him and is ready to make amends.”
Moments after he was drafted, Bryant told reporters during a conference call that he learned from the marijuana arrest would leave his mistakes in the past. Chudzinski pointed out that Bryant’s actions, not his words, will determine whether his latest apology is sincere.
“Time will tell,” Chudzinski said. “You have to give guys every chance, every opportunity, and I feel really good about the structure that we’ll have around him to give him every chance. He’ll be evaluated consistently and constantly just like all our players are, and time will tell.”
Bryant, 22, said he understands he’s on a zero-tolerance policy now.
“It's been tough lately,” Bryant said. “I've just been able to move forward with it, the whole situation, and thankfully the Browns still have faith in me and everything and they just let me come out here and have a second chance.”
Bryant said he’s more determined than ever to prove himself, and he’s taking the necessary steps to ensure he stays out of trouble.
“I’ve been locking myself in the room with my playbook every night,” Bryant said. “Either that, or I’m on the video games, just keeping to myself. Nothing outside is going to affect me from helping this team win or anything like that.”