By the sound of things, former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant isn’t off to a great start with the Oakland Raiders and especially not with his new head coach Jon Gruden. Bryant has apparently missed a few training camp practices thus far due to illnesses and Gruden made sure to note that on Saturday during his talk with the media when asked what he’s learned about the wide receiver so far.
“He’s got to get out here and play better,” Gruden said, according to Michael Gehlken of the . “He’s in a competitive situation. Right now, a lot of the other receivers have had a nice camp. He’s just got to learn the offense. He’s got to stay out here. He’s had some illnesses. He’s got to get on the field. He’s got to master the offense and become more versatile, and that’s the key to making this team better.”
Gruden was then asked what he attest to as being the reason why Bryant is behind at this point.
“I’m not saying he’s behind, I’m saying he’s just got be more versatile,” Gruden replied. “I’m not going to say anymore than that. He’s in a competitive situation. Nothing is going to be given to anybody. It doesn’t matter how you got here and what your history card says. We need everyone to understand the best players are going to play, and he’s got to be more consistent. And I’m confident he will.”
The fact that Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was able to trade Bryant earlier in the offseason to the Raiders for a third-round selection in this year’s draft is still really quite amazing. Remember, Bryant’s current contract expires after the 2018 season so that’s why it was hard to envision any team giving the Steelers anything of substance when it came to trade compensation for the wide receiver and especially when you factor in all the off-the-field problems the former fourth-round selection out of Clemson has had since arriving in the NFL.
I wonder how Bryant likes the differences between Gruden and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin about right now as well as the two really are night and day when it comes to their coaching styles. Regardless, Bryant is no longer the Steelers problem. Even so, it certainly will be interesting to follow along with how Bryant continues to handle his transition from the Steelers to the Raiders and from Tomlin to Gruden.