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Cullen Bryant

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William Cullen Bryant May 20, 1951 – October 13, 2009 was a professional American football player who spent thirteen seasons in the National Football League NFL as a running back and return specialist for the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks He played college football at Colorado


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Professional career
  • 3 Rozelle Rule challenge
  • 4 Later years
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

Early life

Bryant was born in Fort Sill, Oklahoma His father, who was a fan of poetry, named him after the poet William Cullen Bryant He graduated as part of the first class to spend all three years at William Billy Mitchell High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1969

A three-year letterman 1970–1972 who played for Eddie Crowder at the University of Colorado, Bryant, who wore uniform number 16, starred at defensive back During his junior and senior years, the Buffaloes were nationally ranked in the Associated Press AP Poll, finishing 3rd and 16th in 1971 and 1972 respectively He played in the Senior Bowl and College All-Star Game in 1973

Professional career

He was selected by the Rams in the second round 31st overall of the 1973 NFL Draft He was the primary return specialist in his first four years with the team, working exclusively on kickoffs as a rookie He scored his first NFL touchdown on September 30, 1973 when he returned a first-quarter kickoff 93 yards in a 40–20 victory over the 49ers in San Francisco

Bryant's one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter gave the Rams an early 7–3 lead in its 31–19 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XIV He ended the game with 6 carries for 30 yards

Rozelle Rule challenge

At the behest of Rams owner Carroll Rosenbloom, Bryant went to court in 1975 to challenge his transfer to the Detroit Lions under the Pete Rozelle Rule This came after Rozelle ordered Bryant off the Rams and sent to Detroit as compensation for the Rams signing free agent wide receiver Ron Jessie After the judge appeared sympathetic to Bryant's case, the NFL backed off and the Rozelle Rule was subsequently modified

Later years

He served as running backs coach under Chuck Stobart at the University of Memphis from 1990 through 1993 Bryant died of natural causes on October 13, 2009 at his home in Colorado Springs


  1. ^ a b Goldstein, Richard "Cullen Bryant, Ex-Ram Who Challenged Rozelle Rule, Dies at 58," The New York Times, Saturday, October 17, 2009
  2. ^ a b 2008 University of Colorado Football History & Records Book
  3. ^ Super Bowl XIV: Los Angeles Rams 19 vs Pittsburgh Steelers 31, Sunday, January 20, 1980 box score – Pro-Football-Referencecom
  4. ^ "Ex-LA Rams running back Cullen Bryant dies at 58" Associated Press Retrieved 2009-10-16 
  5. ^ University of Memphis 2009 Football Media Guide

External links

  • Cullen Bryant photograph – The Gazette Colorado Springs, CO
  • Farmer, Sam "Cullen Bryant dies at 58; former LA Rams running back," Los Angeles Times, Friday, October 16, 2009

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Cullen Bryant

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