Martavis Bryant has been a source of optimism for Steelers fans since last season when he began to emerge as the rising star of the Steelers WR corps. WR coach Richard Mann can surely take some of the credit for Bryant's stellar season. As we all know, Bryant is not the only talented receiver on the Steelers offense. Antonio Brown is one of the best in the league, and Markus Wheaton could be a force to be reckoned with as well. Mann is one common denominator.
What makes Martavis Bryant so exciting? Opposing defenses just can't cover both Bryant and AB,so part of Bryant's appeal is that his presence on the field creates a terrifying scenario for the opposing defense. Though 6-feet 4-inches, Bryant is still both speedy and agile. He took far fewer snaps than Brown, but as a deep threat, he was so reliable that he ended up leading the league in yards per catch.
Before last year's season, coach Mann predicted, "He'll be a great weapon for us in the red zone. What he does really well is track the football. So we feel like we got a guy we can put opposite of Antonio. I am delighted to get him, and I'm surprised he lasted long. He is what we have been hunting. He and I just talked and he is delighted to come."
Mann's use of the word delighted is just delightful-- even more so when you consider he was right about Bryant. I am sure there are a lot of teams kicking themselves for not having that same insight (and, perhaps, for not being Mann's employer).
Bryant is not starting from the bottom as he enters the 2015 season, so for NFL.com to say he will make a leap suggests what many fans have already believed-- Martavis Bryant could be scary good this season. Two factors that point towards astounding improvement are Bryant's recent weight gain (lean muscle) and his rate of improvement last season. He and coach Mann seem to have clicked from the get-go-- delightful!-- and are leveraging that synergy to create one of the most threatening WR corps in the entire league.