2017 Offseason Questions: Is There Cause For Concern Between Ben And Bryant?

The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss.

And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the offseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.

Question: Is there any reason to be concerned about possible tensions between Martavis Bryant and Ben Roethlisberger?

Opinions expressed in response to our content about Martavis Bryant’s comments that he made while training out west suggested a mixture of emotions when it comes to whether or not he was justified in what he said, as well as whether or not it was an issue, so it would seem fitting to bring it to discussion here.

As a quick recap of the background, Ben Roethlisberger has had a history of utilizing media interviews to send messages to the not-so-young anymore Bryant, usually pertaining to growing on the field, but he has over the course of the past year, including back in May of this year, made some fairly harsh references to his need to grow off the field as well.

While Bryant did not outright say that he was angry with the way that Roethlisberger, he did say that he hopes to have a sit-down talk with the quarterback about how things have gone on over the course of the past year since he was suspended.

In particular, he said that he wanted to get an understanding for why the quarterback chose to make the comments about him to the press that he did. He also expressed his tendency toward privacy when it comes to the personal struggles that led to his suspension.

Bryant also called Roethlisberger his brother and said that he loves his quarterback. Everybody knows that there is some in-fighting at times between brothers—at least those who grew up among them. But is there anything to be concerned about when it comes to resolving whatever this amounts to?

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

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

  • budabar

    nothing a couple of TD passes can’t take care of

  • RickM

    I get that the comment last summer was very direct. But you keep referring to last May. What did Roethlisberger say that was harsh in May? Most of comments I’ve read have been positive – it’s great to have him back, he’s a stud, etc. He did say that he has to prove himself, i.e. that he can stay on the field. But that’s not harsh. It’s factual and after multiple failed drug tests everyone feels the same way. Is that what you are referring to? I guess I’m wondering what you feel was said that was harsh in May and why you aren’t mentioning the positive comments?

  • johnhoien

    This is nothing.. Just some media that has only 2 weeks until camp & is dying for something to write about

  • S.T.

    They’re fine, nothing to see here. The takeaway is that Martavis is coming back with a chip on his shoulder, and he’s dying to prove himself on the field. That’s exactly the focus we want from him. Barring injury, he’s poised for a Comeback Player of the Year season.

  • dany

    No, it is cause for headlines though! And in July, that’s needed

  • Rob H

    Nothing to worry about at all, as long as Bryant continues to pass his tests, this story will fade away after the first day or two of camp. If these are the only kind controversies your team has this time of year, you’re in good shape.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    grow up bryant. you have 3 kids. time to mature.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    What I take from it all is that MB still hasn’t matured yet and has far too thin a skin .

  • RickM

    I tend to agree. He seems to be ignoring all the ‘welcome backs’ and ‘he looks great’ comments, so he can dwell on something from a year ago. Thin-skinned seems pretty accurate.

  • colingrant

    No, but the fact that it can be legitimately broached as a subject header tells me it needs to be over IMMEDIATELY. Not tomorrow, not the day after……. Now. It’s disconcerting considering we’re 2 weeks away from reporting to camp. Intervention from team leaders may be needed asap.

  • Labrat0116

    I’m not concerned at all about their relationship
    Why ? Because I know when it comes down to it, Ben is a Professional and a Leader.
    If need be, he’ll pull the young buck Bryant aside read him the Riot Act. Bryant will take it like a man (that he claims to be) and that will be the end of that.
    If young buck has an input, Ben will listen and respond accordingly.
    Sometimes Leaders have to resort to unconventional methods (using the media) to get young, stupid (Bryant) buck’s attention.
    Remember Michael Jordan yelling and screaming at Dennis Rodman on the court during Championship games ?
    Leaders do what they gotta do and they do it. No questions asked. THEY get teammates to respond and they get results.
    THAT is what Leaders do.

  • ciscoNoDrink

    Slow news week.

  • Ni mo

    Why is that ben has his number he shouldn’t have said what he said in the news either they both are wrong

  • Ni mo

    Tell ben to grow up also , he has his number why talk to the media call him up and tell him what he didn’t like they both wrong

  • You ever see the grown man who rides a bike wearing a helmet and arm pads? Should he be concerned? Well there is your answer.

  • Rocksolid20

    Steelers can win without Bryant , can’t win without Ben .

  • mrallnite111 .

    C’mon, you know the Steelers have won without Ben, an they have won in spite of Ben

  • copanut

    In the parlance of the day, it’s a big nothingburger.

  • James Churchwell

    Hahahahaha…that’s some funny S—T

  • John Pennington

    Both men should just put this behind them and move forward to winning a SB.They are both bigger than this and the team comes first and the past is the past lets all leave it there this is a new season lets embrace that.Lets get to camp with one thing on our minds and thats getting better and win.Thats what important winning.

  • RickM

    Yes, we proved that last year coming within a game of the SB. That’s stating the obvious for most folks anyways. Bryant, if back in form, will definitely make us better. But we’ve got some decent guys behind him.

  • Dale

    Ben and Hines weren’t best friends either; didn’t stop them from playing catch.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    you can’t read can you? ive said on three different threads. by nfl policy he was not allowed to talk to him. ben was fully within right as a leader on the team.

  • Ralph Wagner

    Can’t win without Bryant, hmmm if I remember correctly he has been known to drop some key passes. Let’s wait and see how he plays in a game or two after his year off. Before he’s put in the Hall of Fame.

  • walter

    i dont think there is any cause for concern because I dont think MB is going to say anything to Ben (about what he discussed recently to the media). And I dont think Ben will waste any time on it. MB is just trying to save face.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery


  • Work Toward

    Ben is overrated as a leader. He has tarnished Tomlins approach to winning important games. All of a sudden he can’t win away games. This is because of old age. Thus to open his mouth and not win games translates to stress… He can have that same attitude with Bell. However Brady/Brees keeps pluggin away without complaints. I need Ben to stop acting like the man and be it…

  • Work Toward

    Ben can’t win away games with himself..

  • Steeler-Drew

    He certainly seems overly sensitive. I believe at one point he called himself a grown man in response to a question not feeling the need to address the team and apologize for letting them down…which is exactly what a grown man would do.

    His comments have sort of disgusted me. I don’t think he realizes how he has sat this team back. What I haven’t seen mentioned is not only did they miss his production he basically forced the Steelers to select Coates in the 3rd round (knowing he had failed drug tests) when they badly needed help on the defensive side of the ball. He can also be responsible to a certain degree of another early round pick of a WR this year when once again they needed more help on the defensive side of the ball. So IMO has a lot nerve voicing any displeasure considering how much he has cost the team.

  • RickM

    Those are good points, i.e. the consequences went beyond his suspension and loss of his talent. Coates’ selection was absolutely predicated by MB’s suspension and his unreliability may have factored in the JJSS pick. And yes, a grown man would make amends with his teammates and not look for verbal skirmishes with teammates over things said a year ago. A little bit of humility – and true recognition for the price the team also has paid – would serve him well.

  • Cwallace

    That’s what’s up S.T. These same same people bustin at Bryant about his personal demons will be trying to figure out how we can keep him and praying for a way to do so when he cant be stopped and the anouncers sre gushing over him after he beats a corner for another 90yard td and a 40+yrds on an end around.Same ones bashing Ben won’t givadamn how or who he talks to when he has another 5 or 6 touchdown game. They will be hoping he plays until he’s 40. I’m hoping MB stays mad. Beast them dbs and all you gonna hear is Randy Moss comparisons.

  • Larry Kraus

    I may take a LOT of heat for saying this but I believe Bryant has the chance to become one of the great receivers if he can learn to become just a little bit humble. Just show everyone just how talented he really is. Forget about drugs forget about infighting just play great football. Bryant has the talent now he just needs to put on blinders and let his play do the talking.

  • Rocksolid20

    Might win a game here and there without Ben , not on a full season and you know it

  • 20Stoney

    If Bryant thinks he needs to have a talk with Ben, then go talk to him. That ball is in his court.

  • Alan Tman

    He didn’t force the Steelers to do anything. They just love picking Wide receivers, because they are good at it. This year is proof. MB10 comes back, and they pick up Hunter and draft receiver too.

  • Bonnie Powell

    Slow time of year and just media looking for things to stir up controversy in my opinion. They leave out that Bryant also said whether that conversation takes place or not, he’s ready to roll.

  • Terrible Towlie

    this new generation of piss babies think if you’re not blowing sunshine up their ass, then they must be picking on me………..WWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!
    shut up and be happy they’re letting you play

  • Terrible Towlie

    definitly comes off as a big baby

  • Terrible Towlie

    grown Man? most guys dont really grow up until about 30
    and,,,, a grown man doesnt have to tell anybody that he is a grown man, just big kids who are almost there

  • Terrible Towlie

    you must not be old enough to remember all the QB’s after Bradshaw and before Ben

  • Terrible Towlie

    the media asks question and Ben answers…..its part of his job….you must be a kid too

  • Terrible Towlie

    well said

  • Terrible Towlie

    Brady is the biggest crying whiner and is always yelling at his OL and WR’s

  • Terrible Towlie

    Bryant comes off as not too smart…..stupid people should remain silent and thought a fool, instead of opening their mouth and removing all doubt

  • nutty32

    No. Only concern is determining whether MB is a turd. Please don’t let a turd hold the team hostage.

  • Dorian James

    You took the words right out of my mouth. That’s my concern in a nutshell

  • steelmann58

    ACTually think this is a total non issue

  • Rob

    Overall, I think it’s a non issue, but the only part I would reasonably accept Bryant taking issue with is how Ben characterized him as a liar last year. Which, sure may be true of a drug addict, especially one aware of NFL policy, but not something that necessarily needed to be aired out to the media.

    I think the question posed to him may have led him in that negative direction because no reporter cares about how he feels about positive comments. He didn’t bring it up himself Im sure.