Two months later, Bryant's prodigious 2016 potential was obliterated by a one-year suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
Roethlisberger acknowledged this week that he is disappointed to lose the dynamic young receiver.
"I reached out to him a lot when it came to the off-the-field stuff the first time around," Roethlisberger said Tuesday, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "It was very disappointing, and we will miss him."
Roethlisberger's comments are in the same vein as the pep talk intended to toughen Bryant up late last season.
"He was a big weapon for us, obviously," Roethlisberger explained. "He is one of the best and had a chance to be one of the best in the NFL. He was growing and getting better. It hurts."
Roethlisberger insists the goal remains 30 points per game, a milestone that just 29 teams in NFL history have reached.
"I think the sky is the limit for our offense, regardless," Bell told NFL Media's R&B Podcast in March. "... I think the fact that we have all of that depth and we have playmakers everywhere, I think our offense is still going to be just as dynamic."