Skip to main content

Big Ben: No promise to throw more to Martavis Bryant

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger plans to sit down and talk with Martavis Bryant, but that conversation will come with no guarantees about increased targets for the cantankerous wideout.

"I'm not going to be a doctor and promise I'm going to save your life," Roethlisberger said Wednesday, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I'm going to tell him if you're on your details and we're working together and I trust that you're going to be where we're supposed to be and you're there, good things will happen."

Bryant brought unrequested drama to the Steelers by complaining about his playing time on Instagram before telling ESPN's Josina Anderson on Tuesday: "If they don't try to include me more and continue to do the same thing, then I want out, period. I just want to be happy. ... I would like for it to be here, but if not then oh well. Just got to move on."

In Pittsburgh's air attack, which is outrageously reliant on All-Pro Antonio Brown, Bryant has caught just 18 passes and seen fewer snaps than rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster. It's hardly what fans expected of Bryant -- coming off a year-long suspension -- after he dazzled down the stretch in 2015 as one of the NFL's premier red-zone weapons.

Roethlisberger told reporters that his meeting with Bryant had yet to occur, but he would rather the receiver come running to him before scorching the earth on social media.

"I'm the guy that throws the ball, so if you're unhappy about something, come talk to me. Maybe there is something we can figure out together to make it better," Roethlisberger said, adding that Bryant's grievances were a surprise.

"You never hear him complain. I never hear him on the field -- crying, complaining, wanting the ball, throwing his hands up, not running hard, doing things like that," Roethlisberger said. "You see him blocking hard after guys catch the ball during runs. I grab him on the sideline and talk about the [images of plays] like I do with other guys, and he's very engaging."

Roethlisberger can't cater to everyone equally, but a big game for Bryant against the Detroit Lions on Sunday night would serve as a start.

"We need to get the ball to him, to everybody, we all need to score points. There are opportunities there. That's why I told him to come talk to me," Big Ben said.

"We've had opportunities with deep balls that were just missed whether it was me overthrowing him or it's the Chicago game where he slows down a little bit or this last game where he doesn't see the ball coming out of my hand. There are plays to be had. We just have to make them."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content