It’s been a drama-infested couple of weeks for the Pittsburgh Steelers. AB vs the Water Cooler. Ben Roethlisberger vs Father Time. And last night, Martavis Bryant vs Ian Rapoport, the latter who reported Bryant wanted the heck out of the city.
The national media will surely point to this as another distraction and point of divisiveness in the locker room. But from the sounds of it, teammates are taking the news in stride. In fact, they’re playing along.
“I thought he was talking about getting traded to the (Cleveland) Cavs,” said Ramon Foster via the Steelers’ website. “I thought he wanted to switch sports. I thought he was talking about basketball.”
Maurkice Pouncey reportedly chimed in and joked the Steelers were going to trade Bryant for Mike Pouncey.
Even Bryant piled on, saying he wanted to go play for the Golden State Warriors.
And that seemed to be the general feeling from the Steelers’ locker room. So even if the report is true, which is still possible, it has no effect on the locker room. The rumored demand happened “weeks ago,” per ESPN’s follow-up, meaning the team has won at least one game, and probably two (Baltimore) since.
Winning certainly cures all and helps smooth over any of the drama and politics of the locker room.
Instead, the focus is on playing the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday afternoon. Mike Tomlin was quick to note the Bengals are coming off a bye. And they’re legitimately better since firing their offensive coordinator. AFC North football is always tough and with the ship seemingly righted, there’s no time or desire to focus on rumors like Bryant’s.
Tomlin will certainly be asked about the topic during tomorrow’s press conference. And it’s certain he’ll deflect and keep the focus on the upcoming game. Just as the rest of the locker room is doing. Just as it should be.