Martavis Bryant told ESPN’s Dan Graziano he was not happy with comments Ben Roethlisberger made about him last year following Bryant’s suspension. Now, Bryant wants to clear the air with his quarterback.
“We should have a man-to-man,” he told Graziano. “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.”
He did add that Roethlisberger is his brother and “I love him,” but noted at the time, he wasn’t interested in Ben’s opinion. Graziano’s article has a slew of quotes from Bryant you definitely should check out.
Bryant made those comments getting in some last minute training in Nevada – where he spent most of his time during last year’s suspension – before heading to training camp at the end of July.
Roethlisberger was clearly upset and frustrated following the Bryant suspension news last March, feeling like Bryant lied to him about getting his act together.
“I just think the approach, the denial of everything,” he told the Post Gazette following the news. “Looking me in my eye and denying everything, it’s tough. It disappoints you as a man and a guy who cared so much about him. I obviously care a lot about him as a person and a football player.”
The two did talk during Bryant’s suspension, after the season, Big Ben said in late January.
“He did reach out to me a few months ago,” Roethlisberger said. “I don’t really want to share exactly what was said, but just kind of open up the communication, reached out, said hello and things like that. (He) let me know he was doing well, so I was glad to hear that and hear that he was doing well.”
Though Roethlisberger was clearly excited to have Bryant back, and said he looked like a “stud” in practice, he added that Bryant must prove he can stay on the field for the entire year, a clear comment made for Bryant’s already lengthy off-field history.
Ben has called Bryant out in the media before, challenging him to step up in big moments. Bryant has usually responded, but perhaps that created a bit of a rift between the two.
If there are any hard feelings, everything should hopefully be cleared up well before the start of the regular season. Roethlisberger is a professional and Bryant is aspiring to be one. But you can bet it’s a question that will come up early on in camp.