The ‘Killer B’s’ are complete now that stud Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Martavis Bryant is back on the field. Another explosive receiver lining up across from arguably the best receiver in football, Antonio Brown, is a terrifying thought for NFL defenses. And it’s Christmas come early for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
However, he won’t settle down and unwrap his gift just yet. There’s still a ways to go between now and September, when the regular season kicks off, and Bryant has yet to prove he can stay on the field for an extended period. He missed most of his rookie season in 2014 with a shoulder injury, and he was suspended for four games in 2015 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Then he was suspended for the entire 2016 season for failing another drug test.
He has since been reinstated by the league, and one of the scariest offenses from last season has another weapon. There has never been any questions regarding Bryant’s talent on the field. He’s a game-changer for the Steelers when teams want to stack the box to stop All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell or focus the brunt of their attention on Brown. Despite missing five total games in 2015, Bryant still had 50 receptions for 765 yards and six touchdowns.
Last season, the team had to rely on Eli Rogers, Sammie Coates, Cobi Hamilton and Darrius Heyward-Bey at receiver to fill the massive void left after Bryant’s suspension. Everything appears to be in place heading into next season.
Even after a year layoff, Bryant is wowing onlookers during the offseason practices, including Roethlisberger.
“Good — learning some of the stuff we put in last year he didn’t know about, remembering things that we had in before,” Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Brian Batko. “He looks like a stud, as usual, so we’re excited for him to be on the field this year and help us out. … I think it’s just proving to us he can be out there all season. We need him all year, so I think that’ll be big for us.”
That’ll be the big question mark heading into the 2017 season. Can Bryant keep his focus on football, or are we going to hear about another failed drug test in the future?
Another strike would likely put an end to Bryant’s tenure with the Steelers, once again leaving the team’s AFC foes with one less “Killer B” to contend with.
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