"He's special," David DeCastro said. "He has a great attitude, great skills, especially for a rookie."
"Big-time player, great performer," receiver Antonio Brown said. "He stepped up big. Huge play. Biggest play in history."
While Pittsburgh insists it has no plans to move the receiver, Bryant's future with the Steelers remains hazy ahead of Tuesday's trade deadline.
Coach Mike Tomlin responded succinctly when asked about the receiver Sunday night:
On the decision to make Bryant inactive:
Tomlin: "I outlined that pretty crystal clear on Tuesday and I'm done talking about that. I am."
- Reporter: You haven't talked about it since you made your decision though...*
Tomlin: "I know."
Reporter: You are not going to?
Reporter: You are confident he will help you down the stretch?
Tomlin: "I'm not. We'll see."
Perhaps Smith-Schuster's big day allows the Steelers to believe they can comfortably move on from the Bryant distraction without losing much on the field.
A Pittsburgh offense that has been overly reliant on Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell this season might have found its third weapon in Smith-Schuster. However, unless Tomlin is truly sick of Bryant's antics or someone makes a convincing trade offer for a suspension-prone receiver, it would behoove the playoff-bound Steelers to keep all the offensive talent they can compile. Despite the headaches he's provided, Bryant is still an athletic mismatch and a needed red-zone weapon.