Back in week 3 of the Steelers pre-season, Steelers Quarterback threw his first pass in the black and gold. That pass was a 63 yard completion to suspended wide receiver Martavis Bryant over defensive rookie of the year candidate, Ronald Darby.
After a couple of check-downs to Roosevelt Nix, on the next series Vick connected again with Bryant for a 36 yard catch and run. Vick would target Bryant two other times while in the game, both of which resulted in Bills penalties.
While it’s a very small sample size, the point is that Michael Vick looked very comfortable throwing to Martavis Bryant.
Despite Antonio Brown being the better receiver, it makes sense that Vick might prefer a receiver like Bryant, who’s massive catch radius is better suited to reel in some of Vick’s more erratic passes. Vick’s biggest asset in the passing game is his arm strength. If Bryant can get behind a defense, I don’t think you’ll need to worry about Vick under-throwing him.
I think that Antonio Brown is possibly the best receiver in football, but his game really relies on his chemistry and precision of Ben Roethlisberger.
If Vick feels more comfortable with Bryant, it’s only going to open up the whole offense. Bryant making one big splash play might have been the difference in a tight game against the Ravens, and could be in an upcoming game.
Not only could Bryant break the game open himself, but his threat of the deep ball should open up underneath coverage for Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell as a pass catcher. All of these things mean that Martavis Bryant returning could be the difference in what will certainly be some close games while Ben is still out.
In a season with just a brutal schedule, just one game could be the difference between playoffs and no playoffs. Just sneaking in could be huge for this team.
If the Steelers can figure out how to steal some games now, they could be extremely dangerous in the playoffs with a healthy Ben Roethlisberger and Maurkice Pouncey back in the lineup. By that time the defense is also likely to be improved, given how much youth is on that side of the ball.
I wrote a few months ago that Martavis Bryant and Le’Veon Bell may have wrecked the Steelers’ 2015 season, depending on how well he plays, Martavis could save it now.