Now that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant has made it very loud and clear that he wants to be a bigger part of the offense moving forward it will be interesting to see if he gets his wish.
During his Wednesday session with the media, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was asked if the offense is one touchdown pass to Bryant away from all this current drama with the wide receiver quickly going away.
“Hopefully we’re a lot of touchdown passes (away), Roethlisberger said. “We need to get lots of footballs to him, to everybody, because we all need to score points because that helps us win football games. And there’s opportunities there. We’ve had some and that’s why I told him [Martavis] to just come talk to me because we’ve had opportunities. We’ve had a couple deep balls that were just missed, whether it’s me overthrowing him, whether it’s the Chicago game where he kind of slows down a little bit, this last game where he doesn’t see the ball out of my hand. The plays are there to be had. We just have to make them.”
Roethlisberger has attempted a total of 15 deep passes to Bryant so far this season with only three of them being completed and another one drawing a pass interface penalty. On Wednesday, Roethlisberger was asked if he knows why those passes are just a little off.
“I don’t know,” Roethlisberger said. “Maybe it’s on me. I need to maybe give him a better ball to make a play. I’ll put it on myself first. I’m never going to blame him. I’ve got a couple of those deep balls if I put out there for him, maybe let him run under them a little more, maybe he’ll get them.”
In Bryant’s defense, only about five of the 15 deep passes that have been thrown his direction in the team’s first seven games were catchable balls. Now, that’s not to say that Bryant couldn’t have gotten himself in a better position to potentially at least have a chance to catch some others. After all, Roethlisberger has made it clear a few times this week that Bryant needs to pay more attention to his details.
Sunday the Steelers will play a Detroit Lions defense that has given up very few deep passes to wide receivers in their first six games of the season and thus it will be interesting to see how many shots more than 15 yards down the field Roethlisberger ultimately takes in that game. Roethlisberger, by the way, hasn’t been very successful with his deep passes to any of his wide receivers so far this season (21 of 64).
Assuming Bryant isn’t sat down Sunday night as a form of punishment for his recent social media actions, it will be interesting to see how much he ultimately plays against the Lions. While Bryant did play more snaps (36) than rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (31) did in Sunday’s home win over the Cincinnati Bengals, he was still only on the field for 52% off all offensive plays.