Seven games in the Pittsburgh Steelers have taken control of the AFC North after a 29-14 win over the Bengals Sunday evening.
The Jacksonville loss seems so long ago the narrative has changed so much in two weeks that Pittsburgh has gone from a drama filled team with an aging quarterback to now primed to be in the thick of things for the No. 1 seed.
While the Steelers are still filled with a ton of drama on a week to week basis and that isn’t going to change, for the second consecutive year the Steelers are one of the most dangerous teams in the AFC.
……………And for the second straight week the Steelers have to deal with the headache of Martavis Bryant……..
Once his trade demand after the Ravens game got leaked last Sunday night after the Chiefs win, Bryant was given a gift from his teammates in how all stood behind him publicly, basically calling the reports ‘fake news’ and pretty much put on lying faces to make it seem like it was a made up story.
What it is wasn’t a made up story and Bryant over the last 36 hours keeps on adding fuel to the fire.
First he goes on Instagram to rip Juju Smith-Shuster and also confirming he requested a trade by saying “Juju is no where near better than me fool all then need to do is give me what I want and y’all can have juju and who ever else.”
“Juju is the future and got great talent and is going to be one of the best to play the game I want him to get his I just want mines period point blank ain’t nobody did nothing to get me back I worked my ass off to get myself back with no help and little support period in due time the process will show.”
Then on Monday he skips mandatory meetings by calling in sick when the normal protocol for NFL players is to report to the facility in the morning where team doctors are available and then if players are actually sick, they will be sent home. This also wasn’t the first suspicious ‘call in sick’ excuse from Bryant over the last couple weeks.
Then on Tuesday morning he talks to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, confirming the obvious that he wants traded saying “he got to go,” if things don’t improve.
Among the interesting quotes from Bryant to Anderson:
“By the end of whenever the trade deadline is … I mean if things don’t get better, then I got to go,” Bryant said….”If they don’t want to use me and they don’t want to use what I am capable of doing on the field, then just send me on my way.”
Ed Bouchette of the Post-Gazette reported Monday the Steelers continue to insist they won’t trade Bryant before the deadline and that’s been the consistent theme from the organization for a week now since the trade request got leaked by the media.
If the Steelers want to drive Bryant nuts, it won’t suspending him, it will be making him inactive.
And the Steelers have reasons beyond his stupid comments and actions.
As Bryant becomes more insecure by the day with the emergence of JuJu Smith-Shuster, Steelers coaches and teammates feel Bryant quit on plays in the second half and his tone on the sidelines changed drastically after the Smith-Shuster TD.
Now we wait and see how the Steelers handle Bryant publicly this week.Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"