Many have heard now that the Steelers’ leader Ben Roethlisberger carefully, but directly “called out” his teammate; young wide receiver Martavis Bryant.
If you missed it, “he needs to understand that, and this is coming from love from me and other guys, that this time of year, you’ve got to toughen up,” Roethlisberger told 93.7 The Fan Pittsburgh during his weekly radio appearance. “You’ve got to get tough and you’ve got to make tough plays and you’ve got to make tough catches and you have to find ways to do everything you can to help this team.”
I think a lot of the media has tried to make this story into “is Ben throwing his teammate under the bus?!” I’m not going into that, because I think everyone realizes Ben is trying to motivate Martavis, and I can guarantee you Ben has had similar conversations with the young receiver privately too.
Some, including Marc on this site, have questioned what’s wrong with Martavis?
I don’t think something is necessarily wrong as much as we’ve just got a larger sample size, and we’re seeing that Martavis isn’t this phenom we thought he was already. He’s going to have up and down games.
What Ben is doing is sending a message that maybe it’s not all going to be as easy as it seemed, and we (the team) need you to re-focus yourself and commit yourself to being great.
Why? Because Ben Roethlisberger realizes to make a run, and beat a playoff caliber team, this team NEEDS him.
The Steelers defense is not good. They’ve had games where they’ve stepped up and made the play they needed to at the right time. They’re not going to shut down any of the offenses they’ll face from here on out. If the Steelers are going to win any games in the playoffs, it’s going to be on the arm of Ben Roethlisberger, and he needs help.
Antonio Brown is a freak, and he’s going to get his catches. That being said, the Bengals have neutralized him as well as anyone, giving up 13 catches, 134 yards, and 1 touchdown in two matchups. That’s not bad for most receivers, but that’s a 1 game stat line for Antonio.
A good Martavis Bryant takes the Steelers offense from good to great.
Great is what this offense needs to be in order to beat the Bengals Saturday night, and any team they would face after that. Hopefully Martavis hears the message loud and clear and we see what we’ve seen from his earlier in his career.