Countdown to Camp is a series aimed at preparing fans for the Pittsburgh Steelers upcoming training camp by focusing on players who were on the 2016 roster. Each profile will include basic statistics and a hand selected highlight from last year.
|Date of birth||December 20, 1991 (age 25)|
|Place of birth||Calhoun Falls, South Carolina|
|High school||Anderson (SC) T. L. Hanna|
|NFL Draft||2014 / Round 4 / Pick 118|
|Career||Pittsburgh Steelers (2014-present)|
Martavis Bryant has had his fair share of personal issues off the field but is looking for redemption in 2017 after spending the entire 2016 campaign and six weeks of the 2015 NFL season on suspension. Conditionally reinstated on April 25, Bryant has spent much of the offseason shaking off the dust – both bodily and mentally – in preparation for a big training camp performance.
The Steelers saw receivers like Darrius Heyward-Bey, Sammie Coats, Eli Rogers and Demarcus Ayers all step up to fill the void left by Bryant. It turned into a bit of a rotating door in 2016, however, when Coates fractured and mangled his fingers and hand, Heyward-Bey slid in production and Cobi Hamilton joined Rogers as the primary number two receivers. The result was that Antonio Brown saw double- and triple-team coverage.
Bryant’s return infuses enthusiasm into a Steelers offense that was potentially the most dangerous in the league last year and is pushing for an even better 2017 outing. Throw JuJu Smith-Schuster into the mix and Bryant could very well put the fear Pittsburgh wants into their opponents.
Bryant is the stretch-the-field weapon the Steelers need to take the top off of defense and keep them honest. He opens up the playbook for option reads from Ben Roethlisberger and gives his fellow receivers, especially Brown on the outside, more room to work the field.
All in all, if Bryant can remain healthy and show maturity at training camp, the Steelers may just have the edge they need to make their offense the most formidable squad in the league – and the team to beat – for a repeat trip to the AFC Championship game and possible Super Bowl appearance.