In an otherwise forgettable 6-3 Browns victory on Sunday, Seahawks defensive lineman Red Bryant had a very memorable game.
And he’s blaming Browns tight end Alex Smith for the most memorable part.
Bryant blocked two Cleveland field goal attempts to help keep the Seahawks in a game when they easily could have been blown out. That was the good part of the game for Bryant.
But Bryant also had an incredibly costly penalty late in the game: After the Seahawks sacked Browns quarterback Colt McCoy on third down with about a minute to go, Bryant head-butted Browns tight end Alex Smith. That personal foul got Bryant ejected and gave the Browns an automatic first down, and all they had to do was kneel down twice to run out the clock.
So what in the world was going through Bryant’s mind when he committed that incredibly costly penalty? Bryant said Smith had been trash talking and cheap shotting all game, and Bryant finally snapped at the worst possible moment.
“He was talking the whole game,” said Bryant. “He was taking cheap shots at me. That’s what guys do when they can’t block you. He did a great job of getting in my head. I should have been smarter than that.”
Smith says he’s not sure what Bryant is referring to.
“I was confused by that,” Smith said. “Someone else said he called me a dirty player. I’ve never been called a dirty player in my seven years of playing football. I don’t know what he thought I did that was dirty but I always play right in between the whistles and that was that. There was a lot of jawing going back and forth but at the end of the day, my work was done when the whistle blows.”
Whether Smith did anything dirty or not, Bryant has to be smart enough to know that it’s often the retaliation that the officials see. The Seahawks learned that the hard way on Sunday.