ESPN – When the Pittsburgh Steelers report to training camp in a couple of weeks, wide receiver Martavis Bryant would like to have a talk with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
“I feel like we need to,” Bryant told ESPN on Thursday during a break from his offseason workouts here in the 109-degree Nevada desert heat. “We should have a man-to-man. Because some of the things he put out there about me, I kind of didn’t agree with how he did it. So I want to sit down and hear his own opinion, man-to-man, about why he did that.”
Bryant is the mercurial, high-ceiling Steelers wide receiver who was suspended four games in 2015 and the entire 2016 season for violations of the league’s substance abuse policy. When Bryant got suspended last year, Roethlisberger was highly critical of him, telling the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Bryant had lied to him and that the team felt “let down” by the talented wideout.
“I mean, at that time, I was going through a lot of stuff. I wasn’t really even worried about his opinion at that time, because there was just a lot that was going on,” Bryant said Thursday. “He’s my brother. I love him. But at the same time, I have my own family outside of football. I have my own problems. I’m not just going to come up to you and open up to you about what’s going on with my personal life. That’s not how I am. We just didn’t see eye-to-eye on that, but as far as right now, everything’s great.”
Bryant was conditionally reinstated by the league in April, says he’s been clean for more than a year and expects no further hiccups on his planned return to the NFL for 2017. He says he’s training harder than he ever did before in the offseason. But he does think there are some things that he and his quarterback need to say to each other before the season starts.
“We haven’t had that sit-down talk yet,” Bryant said. “Hopefully we’ll have it before the season starts. If not, that’s fine. I’m still going to go out and perform and do what I have to do to be the best teammate I can be.”
Roethlisberger said earlier this summer that Bryant had to “win back everybody’s trust,” and that he hoped Bryant would come talk to him. Bryant was asked how he expected that talk to go.
“It doesn’t really matter,” Bryant said. “Man-to-man talk. You put it out there, man-to-man, explain to me what you mean.”
Well, if this ain’t the stupidest news to flash across my eyeballs on a lovely Friday summer morning, then I don’t know what is. If both of these guys could take a cue from New England and shut their goddamn mouths, we wouldn’t be having a classic Quarterback – Wide Receiver controversy two weeks before training camp begins. Anyone with half a brain can recognize the fact that Martavis Bryant being suspended the entirety of last year was a detriment to the Steelers’ passing game. If I’m being totally honest, though, I still don’t feel like Bryant gets the Steelers over-the-top against the Pats in the AFC Championship game. But at the same time, it sure would’ve helped Ben to have another target to throw to that didn’t drop every single pass (CC: Sammy Coates) or that stood on the sideline every game due to suffering his 75th concussion (CC: Ladarius Green).
Look, I’m not saying a sit down face-to-face conversation between these two isn’t necessary to resolve the situation (it is). But don’t start spouting your mouths off on the goddman radio and airing out your grievances with one another like a couple of dummies. This whole thing is such petty bullshit and it’s ruined about 15 minutes of my Friday morning because I have to sit here and blog about it like an idiot. Not nice, guys!
P.S. – It’s not like Big Ben’s ever let the team down or anything. What do they call that? The pot calling the kettle black?