Martavis Bryant Looking To Hold Ground Against Competition

As raw as he might be, Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver Martavis Bryant has the potential to be a playmaker as a rookie, if utilized properly. This is the reason the Steelers drafted him in the fourth round, and his glimmers of that potential in practice have seen him climbing the ranks over the last few days.

Earlier this week, according to Ed Bouchette, the coaching staff informed the 6’4” rookie wide out that he will be receiving more opportunities with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger “so he can get more familiar with catching passes from him”.

Said the quarterback about one of his newest targets: “He’s shown a couple plays recently that are very encouraging, but he’s got a long way to go. He’s a young guy but he shows the interest and the desire to want to be great and to learn and so we hope he just keeps doing that”.

Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review also writes that the rookie has strung together several practices now in which he’s made big plays. But that won’t necessarily assure himself of getting on the field more frequently.

The key to consistent playing time is not big plays, but rather, quite simply, consistent play, and Bryant still has much to prove in that regard.

Still, it’s a positive sign in his development that he has spent the last few days working with the top receiver group along with Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, and Justin Brown, when he has been previously working with the longshot candidates.

As a fourth-round rookie, of course, he will likely be given a pass just about no matter how much he may struggle, but there’s no shortage of receivers eager to seize the spot he figures to hold on the 53-man roster.

That includes second-year receiver Justin Brown, who while he has been working with Roethlisberger and playing well, is still not guaranteed anything. That also includes Derek Moye, a 6’5” target who proved that he can play to that height with his two impressive catches during the 2013 season.

Admittedly, some of the other receivers from the so-called deep group have not necessarily lived up to the billing. Danny Coale was recently waived injured, replaced with James Shaw. C.J. Goodwin has had trouble staying healthy as well.

Darrius Heyward-Bey remains sidelined with a concussion. Meanwhile, Lanear Sampson has been just a body, while Kashif Moore has only shone flashes of potential, though he did spend some time on the practice squad a year ago.

Still, while it may seem inevitable that Bryant will make this roster, it’s not nearly as certain that he will get his playing time. He will have to earn that, or else the likes of Brown, Moye, or Heyward-Bey would be more than happy to fill that  playing time vacancy. He must begin to showcase consistency and dependability by running clean, precise routes and coming back to the ball, starting tomorrow with the opening of the preseason.

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • steeltown

    This kid catches a TD tomorrow night. I’m calling it.

  • SteveM2

    As they say, let the games begin!

  • richard

    All he has to do is catch the ball, and he will make the team . If he is willing to accept the coaching, all the other aspects of the position can be learned with time.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Glad to hear he’s starting to string together some good practices and moving up the depth chart. Hope he shines in his first pre season game tomorrow night.

  • Allaneddie

    He flashed big plays often when at Clemson but was in the shadow of the more complete receiver, Sammy Watkins. With professional coaches and the right attitude he may be very good. He has the physical attributes.

  • cp72

    Every time I see him in pads be reminds me of Chris Henry. If he can be Henry like it would be a big piece of what is missing in this offense.

    What an exciting draft class….

  • Big White

    I’m not looking for Bryant to Mr. Consistency. I want him to be a direct weapon right now who can produce the spectacular big play.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Yeah, not this year anyway. If he can carve out just a little niche for himself with a few deep balls and red zone targets, that will be a successful rookie season in my eyes.

  • Big White

    Yep. The polish will come but I hope the Steelers don’t overload him with the details just yet. Overanalysis can cause paralysis and this kid needs to be raw, athletic, fast and hungry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/STEELMANIAC STEEL MANIAC

    Moye!

  • cp72

    Gotta feeling Moye is auditioning for other clubs this preseason. Just don’t see how he makes the team.

  • Weiss Chad

    Imo the only way moye makes this team is to just literally break out and Brown fall off face of earth or an injury.I do however think he will be on the practice squad .. Not a bad wr to have on ps

  • http://www.facebook.com/STEELMANIAC STEEL MANIAC

    Justin Brown is made of glass. He gets hurt ALL THE TIME. I don’t like weak WRs like him who get paid to sit on the bench so they can heal. Moye is tough and he’s talented. He should make the team. I was very insitent before the 2014 draft that we try to get WR Kelvin Benjamin on the team. Did you see that incredible grab he made for a TD in tonight’s game versus the Bills? He got tangled-up by the defender, landed on the ground and still came up with the ball. I knew he was going to be great. Damn! This Martavis Bryant better pan out!

  • http://www.facebook.com/STEELMANIAC STEEL MANIAC

    Justin Brown is made of glass! He gets hurt ALL THE TIME. I don’t like weak WRs like him who get paid to sit on the bench so they can heal. Moye is tough and he’s talented. He should make the team. I was very insitent before the 2014 draft that we try to get WR Kelvin Benjamin on the team. Did you see that incredible grab he made for a TD in tonight’s game versus the Bills? He got tangled-up by the defender, landed on the ground and still came up with the ball. I knew he was going to be great. Damn! This Martavis Bryant better pan out!

  • Weiss Chad

    Imo it would have still been a mistake to take a wr in rd one and if they did I would have rather have cooks than Benjamin anyway.With that being said Im thrilled w shazier but damn Mosely looked pretty damn good the other night.If we drafted anyone other than shazier my pick would have been dennard.