The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss.
And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the offseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: Now that wide receiver Martavis Bryant is evidently in Pittsburgh, when will he show up to the facility?
Martavis Bryant revealed on his Snapchat profile Sunday night that he is back in Pittsburgh. That’s a good thing. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that he is about to walk through the doors of the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex today and start catching footballs.
It’s not clear exactly what his arrival yesterday in Pittsburgh means. One would think that if his return were imminent and he was in the city the night before, that he would have been at practice today. So that’s probably not it.
More likely, it means that he is finalizing the details of his conditional reinstatement requirements, which includes establishing ongoing local treatment in what has been referred to as a relapse prevention plan.
The Steelers seem clear that they intend to be patient as Bryant re-establishes his life and his transition back into the NFL, so it wouldn’t be surprising if we don’t see him for a little bit longer. After initial reports were proven false that he was due to participate in Phase Two after the draft, it was subsequently reported from a different source that his hope is to return by the start of OTAs or earlier.
The OTA sessions are Phase Three of the offseason program, and they commence three weeks after the start of Phase Two. For Pittsburgh, OTAs will begin two weeks from yesterday, so hopefully we will see Bryant back out on the field within that time frame.
If he is not back by then, I might start to get worried, because it’s hard for me to come up with a good reason for why he shouldn’t be prepared to return by then. He has known what he needs to do to make his return, it’s just a matter of doing it.