By: John Murphy
Corbin Bryant was a part time player on the outstanding Buffalo defense last year. But he’s working full time for a couple of weeks this offseason, laying the groundwork for a successful post-football career.
Bryant, who’s spent the last two years as a backup on the Bills defensive line, is in the middle of a three week stint with Under Armour, as part of the National Football League Players Association’s Externship program. The program, in its second year, is set up to allow current players to get experience with businesses they’re interested in working for when their football playing days are over.
Bryant graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Learning and Organizational Change. He’s working at Under Armour’s Corporate Headquarters in Baltimore. He told The John Murphy Show he’s always been a fan of Under Armour’s sports apparel products and he wants to learn more about how the company markets itself.
Bryant says he has already put his Northwestern degree to good use during his externship.
“It’s more of a consulting degree, so what they’re doing here with us is consulting with us as football players,” Bryant said. “They want to know what the company can do better on the football side of things, whether it’s better product or getting the U-A app and improve that as well.”
“We’re trying to help them with what younger football players like to wear and compare pros to younger players.”
Bryant played in all 16 games as a backup defensive lineman for the Bills last year. And even though he’s only got two years in the NFL, at age 27, he’s already making sure he’s got a career after football.
“One thing I’ve learned in life is you have to continue to learn. Even though I love the game and love playing on Sundays, football is not forever. I use the offseason to try and learn as much as I can about different fields so when the time comes I’ll be ready.”
Bryant was ready when his number was called last season. He had a career high four tackles in the Bills win at the Jets last October. He got a sack and forced a Michael Vick fumble in the third quarter of that game that teammate Stefan Charles recovered.
“I can pinpoint that game,” Bryant told host John Murphy. ”I really felt comfortable and felt like I was contributing to the cause and our victory.” He believes the Bills steady rotation of defensive linemen, with him, Charles, and Jarius Wynn getting a regular turn to play, was a big reason the Bills defensive line was so effective last year.
““With our rotation last year certain guys were in the game for a certain reason. Pepper Johnson always had a reason for who was in the game and when.”
Pepper Johnson is gone and Karl Dunbar has taken over as Bryant’s new Defensive Line Coach. It’s a brand new defense, with a new coordinator (Dennis Thurman) and a new Head Coach (Rex Ryan). And Corbin Bryant is eager to get started.
“I think it’s going to be very exciting,” he said. “I haven’t talked or met with anyone, but just reading about it and the potential of what we can do I think guys are excited about starting another chapter of Bills football.”
Bryant is an exclusive rights free agent, and he’s hoping the Bills will extend him an offer in the next week or so.
“I’m just expecting to get a call and see what they want to do with me. I’m not too sure what’s going to happen. Hopefully they pick up my rights and I’ll be here. I love playing with these guys and playing in Buffalo. These last couple of years have been a great experience and I just want to keep playing with these guys.”
Source: Buffalo Bills.com