The Pittsburgh Steelers have welcomed Martavis Bryant back into the fold after he was suspended without pay for the 2016 NFL season for violating their substance abuse policy. Bryant was conditionally reinstated in April this year, and one teammate, in particular, has been forthcoming with his thoughts regarding this football player. Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers’ quarterback, has been very vocal about his feelings towards Bryant. In an interview in May this year, Roethlisberger stated that Bryant “has to win back everybody’s trust.” Speaking to Roethlisberger’s remarks, Bryant said that he feels like they need to talk and bury the hatchet.
“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.”
Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in May that he is open to speaking with Bryant.
“It’s more than just me. He has to win back everybody’s trust.
“I would hope he comes up to me and we go somewhere to talk in private. After that, he has to show with his work ethic and by staying clean that he cares—really cares—about us. If he does that, it’ll be huge. He can really help us. He can be so great.”
Despite the fact that Bryant has only played 21 football games, he has had 71 receptions and 1,314 yards. According to Bleacher Report, in 2015, the year before Bryant was suspended, he caught 50 passes for 765 yards in addition to five touchdowns. This is no mean feat in the world of football, according to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke.
Here's the list of receivers with more yards per reception than Martavis Bryant since 2014 (at least 50 catches):
— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) April 25, 2017
Where did it all go wrong for Bryant? This wasn’t the first time this football player has faced suspension due to substance abuse issues. He was banned for four games at the beginning of the 2015 season due to violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Is Bryant guilty of enjoying the party lifestyle which is popular among so many football heroes? Apparently not. According to the NFL, Bryant suffered from depression and was not coping. Even the president of the Steelers, Art Rooney II, has said that although Bryant shows tremendous ability, he needs to be able to deal with his business outside of the game.
Martavis told a magazine in February this year that he knows that this may be his last chance because he has been following the Josh Gordon, Johnny Manziel, and Justin Blackmon stories. In the same interview, he points out that he has issues outside of football that he needs to deal with, which goes back to what his team has been saying.
On Roethlisberger’s comments, Bryant said that he loves him. He pointed out that he has his own problems and his own family outside of football. Bryant said that it is not in his nature to open up about his personal life.
This is not the first time that Ben Roethlisberger has publicly criticized Bryant. In the 2015 season, he told him to “toughen up” after Bryant was sick and missed a game.
It seems as if Big Ben’s beef with Bryant has been coming on for a long time. And although both express a desire to clear the air, the problem is that nobody forgets where they buried that hatchet.
[Featured Image by Gene J. Puskar/AP Images]