Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t owe Martavis Bryant an explanation

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 08: Ben Roethlisberger
PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 08: Ben Roethlisberger /

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, Martavis Bryant, and quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, may have a little tension this offseason.

The returning wideout told ESPN’s Dan Graziano that he wants to have a “man-to-man” with Roethlisberger regarding some critical words from the quarterback about Bryant’s off the field issues.

“We should have a man-to-man. Because some of the things he put out there about me, I kind of didn’t agree with how he did it. So I want to sit down and hear his own opinion, man-to-man, about why he did that,” Bryant said.

Bryant went on to explain that his own issues aren’t necessarily the concern of his teammates and that he isn’t completely okay with what Ben said regarding Bryant’s missed time.

“I mean, at that time, I was going through a lot of stuff. I wasn’t really even worried about his opinion at that time, because there was just a lot that was going on,” Bryant said. “He’s my brother. I love him. But at the same time, I have my own family outside of football. I have my own problems. I’m not just going to come up to you and open up to you about what’s going on with my personal life. That’s not how I am. We just didn’t see eye-to-eye on that, but as far as right now, everything’s great.”

Earlier this offseason, Roethlisberger told reporters that Bryant needed to “win back everybody’s trust,” and that he wanted to talk to Bryant. Even if that talk is yet to happen, it appears that both parties are hoping to resolve the issue sooner than later.

Roethlisberger doesn’t need to explain himself, though. He wasn’t the one who missed an entire season for PED use, let a Super Bowl contending team down, and took a whole year to realize he needed to change his life around.

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Yes, sometimes mistakes are made, and in this case, it seems that Bryant has changed for the better following his suspension. However, it still doesn’t mean that he let a team who was considered one of the best in the NFL, down during a season they could’ve easily made a Super Bowl run.

Ben isn’t the model citizen, facing a four-game suspension in 2010 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. He is the face of this franchise, though. As a 14-year vet, Roethlisberger is the leader of this team, and if something needs to be said, he’s the one who’s going to say it.

In this case, it needed to be said that Bryant let the team down, and there should be no issue with Roethlisberger’s comments regarding the situation.

Maybe it’s understandable that Bryant didn’t like that Ben went to the media instead of him, but tough luck. In this industry, you speak to the media, and if you have something to say, you have the privilege to let the world know what it is.

This man-to-man shouldn’t be Roethlisberger explaining himself. He didn’t do anything that needs to be explained. Winning back the team’s trust is pretty self-explanatory. You missed a season where you could’ve easily helped this team get to the Super Bowl. Therefore, you screwed up, and you need to fix it. That’s what he means, and that’s what everyone else is thinking as well.

This conversation should be more about Bryant explaining why he failed the test. Why he needed to use PEDs and miss an entire season right after he started to become a star. Not why players are upset with him.

Sorry. It’s not like Bryant isn’t doing the necessary steps to earn his trust back in Pittsburgh. From the looks of it, he’s headed in the right direction after years of misconduct. But just because he’s doing well now doesn’t mean he didn’t hurt this team before.

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Bryant isn’t in the wrong for wanting to talk to Roethlisberger. But by no means should that conversation be about what Ben did wrong.

Instead, it should be about why Bryant isn’t going to screw up again.