The saying is “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”, and in regards to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the saying is right on the money.
Last week, after the Steelers’ huge win over the Chiefs in Week 6, it was reported, and confirmed, by multiple sources how wide receiver Martavis Bryant wasn’t happy with his role on the team’s offense.
Did he formally request a trade? We will likely never know, but as a reaction to his discontent the Steelers plan on giving him a heavy dose of playing time in Week 7 when the Bengals come to Heinz Field.
This from every Steelers fans favorite reporter, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network:
A few weeks after requesting a trade, #Steelers WR Martavis Bryant is slated to have an increased role in the offense. No subbing out today: pic.twitter.com/5Xd2DCjvAH— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 22, 2017
While this may seem as stunning to some, it should’t shock those who do some digging when it comes to the Steelers/Bengals matchups when Bryant has been in the lineup. The Bengals usually do a great job limiting Antonio Brown, but have failed to stop Bryant opposite with one-on-one coverage.
Check out the numbers he has put up vs. Cincinnati in his career:
2014: 2 Games, 5 rec., 8 targets, 130 yards, 2 TDs
2015: 3 Games, 16 rec., 24 targets, 127 yards, 1 TD
The Steelers have catered to their stars all season, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone Bryant will be on the field more after showing he isn’t happy with his touches within the offense. After Antonio Brown’s outburst, some would say he was targeted too much vs. the Jaguars in Week 5. When Le’Veon Bell stated they needed to run the ball more, he got a heavy dose of action in Week 6.
It may just be the game plan, but keeping their players happy seems to be on the forefront of the decision making process for the black-and-gold. As long is it results in wins, fans shouldn’t care how it happens.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest on the Steelers and Bengals game, and more.