With injuries to Maurkice Pouncey, Stephon Tuitt, and Bruce Gradkowski, it’s already been a rough week for Steelers fans.
Then yesterday word came down that Martavis Bryant would be suspended 4 games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The assumption from most seems to be that Bryant failed multiple drug tests, likely for marijuana use.
Personally I think that marijuana shouldn’t be included as part of that policy, but that’s really irrelevant. It is, therefore NFL players should be smart enough not to use it.
I should mention that Martavis is appealing the suspension, but I wouldn’t expect anything to come of that. If this was some sort of situation where he unknowingly took a banned substance or something he’d get some slack; but this has happened more than one time for him to get suspended.
This has really just ruined a lot of the optimism I had for the Steelers going into this season. The margin of error is so small with the schedule being as tough as it is.
The Steelers defense is going to take time to mesh, and it will be on the offense to carry the team. I was optimistic that could happen because there was so much talent, and I expected Martavis Bryant to take his game to another level, and therefore make this offense really hard to stop.
Now, thanks to the complete selfishness and stupidity of Martavis Bryant and Le’Veon Bell; this offense may look like the same one that’s struggled to put up points in the past few years. There’s absolutely no excuse for that.
Those two guys alone may have cost this team a playoff spot. I would not be shocked at all to see this team start the season with a 1-3 record, with 3 very tough games against the Patriots, Rams, and Ravens. Without Bell and Bryant, I wouldn’t say that the 49ers are a definite win either.
Assuming 10 wins gets you into the playoffs, if the Steelers started slow like I said; that means they’d have to finish the season at 9-3 with games against teams like the Chargers, Cardinals, Bengals, Seahawks, Colts, Broncos, and Ravens. Do you like their chances of that?
If Ben Roethlisberger can lead his team to a 2-2 record in the first 4 games, he’ll have to play out of his mind, and third year receiver Markus Wheaton needs to finally step up.
Le’Veon Bell did seem genuinely remorseful for his actions, and appears to have gotten his act together.
Martavis though is a serious risk to follow in the footsteps of Josh Gordon and Justin Blackmon and find himself out of the league. I’m not completely sure what his next punishment would be for another failed drug test, but I believe it’s 10 games, and then an entire season after that… and he’ll be tested more often now.
I’m sure guys like Antonio Brown are in Martavis’ ear, but nobody can change him except for him.
If I’m a teammate of Martavis Bryant and Le’Veon Bell I’m pretty upset today, that they let the entire team down and may have just cost the team a playoff spot this season.