Following the game Saturday against the Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin didn’t have much to say about the four-game suspension that was handed down to wide receiver Martavis Bryant on Thursday. He did, however, fully address it Tuesday during his weekly press conference.
“We are disappointed that it has come to this, but while we’re disappointed, we’re going to remain supportive in whatever actions are necessary in terms of him moving past the actions that caused the suspension,” said Tomlin of Bryant’s suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. “We’re committed to that, but more importantly than that, he has to be committed to that. We don’t have a definitive plan in place as we sit here today, but I promise you that we will for him in terms of how he moves forward.”
Several days ago, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the Steelers have known that Bryant would likely be suspended for quite a while and that in turn led to the team spending a third-round draft pick on wide receiver Sammie Coates. I thought Dulac was probably off base with his report, but he turned out to be exactly right.
“We’re not surprised by it, we’ve known about the possibility of it for some time,” said Tomlin. “In a lot of ways, it directed our course of action throughout the offseason, specifically with the drafting of Sammie Coates because of the potential of this event.”
It sounds like Bryant has a serious issue that he needs to work through and the Steelers will be supportive in getting him the proper help.
“He let his teammates down and this organization down and family and friends and, obviously, Steelers Nation, but we stand by him as he takes the necessary actions moving forward” Tomlin said.
Now that we know the team has known about Bryant’s issues for quite a while, it makes you wonder why they didn’t attempt to add a better veteran option at the wide receiver position to go along with Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton and Coates.
No offense to Heyward-Bey, but the Steelers could’ve added a better option than him at a very low price while Coates develops. They didn’t and now Heyward-Bey will be counted on filling the very big shoes of Bryant.