Gruden knocks Martavis Bryant: He's got to play better


The Oakland Raiders made numerous moves during the offseason to bolster the wide receiver corps with the additions of Jordy Nelson, Ryan Switzer and Martavis Bryant.

When it comes to Bryant, the Raiders acquired the 6-foot-4, 211-pound wide receiver via trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for a third-round pick in late April.

But through more than a week of training camp practices, the Raiders apparently haven't seen enough, leading to coach Jon Gruden to send a clear message to Bryant.

"He's got to get out here and play better," Gruden told reporters Saturday, via the Raiders' official website. "He's got to get out here. He's in a competitive situation, and 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."

Before joining the Raiders, Bryant showed promise with the Steelers as a deep threat by totaling 126 catches for 1,917 yards and 17 touchdowns, averaging a 15.2 yards per catch in three seasons.

Gruden, however, has a preference for receivers who can line up at various positions in his version of the West Coast offense, and he has a good trio with Nelson, Switzer and Amari Cooper, who has led the Raiders in receiving yards in two of the past three seasons.

While Bryant continues to adjust to a new team and offensive scheme, he needs to show the coaching staff sooner rather than later that he can fully grasp what is expected of him before receiving more repetitions with the first-team offense.

"I'm not saying he's behind," Gruden said. "I'm saying he's got to be more versatile. I'm not going to say any more than that. He's in a competitive situation. Nothing is going to be given to anybody. It doesn't matter how you got here or what your history card says, we need everybody to understand the best players are going to play. He's got to be more consistent, and I'm confident he will."