Life isn't always easy in the NFL. Just ask any player who took years to develop their craft after entering the league. This process happens faster for some than others, but luckily for the Pittsburgh Steelers it seems they have a quick learner in WR Martavis Bryant.
Some might have been quick to expect Bryant to simply pick up where he left off in 2014 as if he would simply be able to walk on the field and average over 20 yards a catch again, but the fact of the situation is he still has a lot to learn. Bryant himself stated the route trees he was given last year were routes he was most comfortable with. Wide receiver screens, red-zone fade routes and of course the deep fly pattern. He ran those routes to near perfection, but simply watch Antonio Brown work and you can see how far he has yet to go in terms of precision and route running.
Todd Haley spoke with Dejan Kovacevic of DKonPittsburghSports.com about Bryant's progression in his second year, and the news is all good.
"Much further ahead" is how Haley describes Bryant entering his sophomore season, and before fans reading this article scream, "Of course he is further ahead, it is his second season!", they should also remember how difficult the game is at the pro level. Shortly after Haley uttered "much further ahead", he made it a point to state he is better now than "any point last season". Such a statement would include Bryant's zenith which was a tremendous finish to a season which started with him missing the first 6 weeks on the inactive roster.
Let that sink in for just a second. Every Steelers fan with a pulse saw Bryant torture opposing defenses when he was finally activated, and do it with regularity towards the end of the season. This report is saying Bryant is now better than he was at any point in 2014, and that is a scary proposition for opposing defenses in 2015.
Haley speaks of Bryant's understanding of the offense in a more complete manner heading into 2015, which won't just benefit him personally, but the entire offense next season. With Bryant being more comfortable with the verbiage, the routes and the expectations of the Steelers offense, it will make him that much more of a threat opposite Antonio Brown.
With a competent and improving Bryant on one side, and the near uncoverable Brown on the other, the Steelers offense will have what it takes to reach the 30 points per game goal they have set for themselves heading into the new season.