The Browns' defensive line was annihilated by injuries to nearly every player in 2014, but none might've been as significant as Armonty Bryant.
After a breakout preseason campaign in which he displayed some new pass rushing moves, Bryant's torn ACL on Oct. 12 against the Pittsburgh Steelers reduced Cleveland's firepower for taking down opposing quarterbacks. Cleveland's 31 sacks last season ranked 27th in the NFL – and remember, 11 of those came from linebacker Paul Kruger.
"I felt miserable because I couldn't be out there helping my teammates," Bryant said Wednesday at the Browns' facility in Berea. "I wanted to show all the hard work I had made in becoming a better football player. But I will have another opportunity this year. I'm going to make the best of it."
The good news is that Bryant is right on schedule with his recovery. He's been performing numerous jumping exercises, pushing sleds and even jogging only four months after the knee injury.
Bryant is a firm believer that the seven wins the Browns posted were not a fluke and that the team probably should've had more. Bryant says he's a big fan of the way coach Mike Pettine and defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil adapt their scheme to maximize players' potential.
"I like where everything is heading," Bryant said. "I believe in our coaches and what they are trying to bring to Cleveland. I feel like last year showed how things are starting to unfold and we're starting to showcase a great product on the field."