Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat. There is no one more responsible for the Martavis Bryant saga more than Martavis himself. The stupidity of getting suspended for multiple failed drug tests falls squarely on his shoulders. That, compounded with his ridiculous social media rants are the main reasons we have gotten to this point. Bryant has now been “suspended” for Sunday nights game versus the Lions. Coach Mike Tomlin has clearly had it with his enigmatic wide receiver. The team has publicly said they will not trade Bryant, despite reports he wants out of Pittsburgh.
While he has gone about it in all the wrong ways, Bryant does have a ligitemate gripe with his role in the offense. Ben Roethlisberger seems to be only comfortable throwing the ball to Antonio Brown this season. Brown has double the targets of the next closest receiver, who happens to be running back Le’veon Bell. The target totals confirm what you see watching the game. Big Ben has two options in his mind at this point. Stare down AB covered or not, or check down to Bell out of the backfield. Bryant has seen the occasional screen pass, or the even rarer deep shot down the field. One has to wonder if offensive coordinator Todd Haley has real concerns about Roethlisberger’s deep pass accuracy. Haley has seemed to dial back the deep passes that were once a staple of this offense. Ben’s recent comments of regarding if Martavis “get’s to where he needs to be I’ll get him the ball” don’t really hold water any more. This is going on two seasons of excuses now. It’s Eli Rogers doesn’t run the right routes, Sammie Coates drops too many passes, or Jesse James isn’t consistent enough. At some point we have to look at the quarterback not getting all the weapons involved.
The bottom line is Martavis Bryant is a weapon this team could really use going forward. Everybody involved would be better off with him being a productive member of this offense. First and foremost it starts with Martavis Bryant growing up and becoming an adult on and off the field. A little help from his coaches and his quarterback on the field wouldn’t hurt the situation either.