Former Rowan wideout makes Giants' roster

Former Rowan wideout makes Giants' roster

By The Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD -- Taman Bryant just smiled on Monday recalling what he was doing about this time a year ago. He was a security guard at a Macy's department store in the Hamilton Mall in Mays Landing.

As Byrant spoke, he sat in front of a locker at his new job, a backup tight end and receiver for the New York Giants.

''It feels good, it definitely feels good,'' Bryant said. ''It's a sense of accomplishment.''

Bryant was one of 10 rookie and first-year free agents to make the Giants' 53-man roster limit on Sunday. The defending NFC champions have 16 players on the roster who have never played in an NFL game.

That may change before the Giants open the season next Monday night at Denver, but for now, Bryant has beaten the odds.

After starring at nearby Rowan University, Bryant wasn't invited to an NFL training camp last season. He worked at the department store and eventually got back in the game in June, playing for about a month with the New Jersey Gladiators of the Arena League. He wasn't signed by the Giants until just days before training camp opened.

Bryant survived because of his versatility. A big receiver who is considered slow by NFL standards, he impressed the coaches by becoming a small tight end and special teams player.

Whether Bryant will ever get a chance to contribute is questionable. He is the fourth tight end on the depth chart behind Howard Cross, Dan Campbell and fellow free agent Marcellus Rivers. His chances of lining up as a receiver are slim.

That combination increases the chances that Bryant may fall victim to the waiver wire if the Giants have to make another move.

''The roster is not permanent, things can change,'' Bryant said. ''Whatever I did in camp to get me this far, I've got to keep it going. There is no such thing as taking a sigh of relief and going out and having just one bad day. It can change.''

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Date Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2001 - 11:06