Martavis Bryant was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth-round of 2014 NFL draft from Clemson University. As a rookie, the young wide receiver was inactive for the first six weeks of the season. In week 7, against the Houston Texans, Bryant's first NFL reception was a 35-yard touchdown. It provided the necessary spark that the offense needed and gave quarterback Ben Roethlisberger a surprisingly talented athlete at his disposal.
For Steelers faithful, it seemed the entire world stopped on March 14, 2016. Reports surfaced that Bryant would be suspended for the entire 2016 NFL season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. These reports were true and Pittsburgh was down a number two receiver. Costly for the Steelers and Bryant, the young receiver's absence is predicted to end in 2017, giving the team a much-needed big boost in wide receiver production.
A year away from football seems to have immensely improved the overall lifestyle of Bryant and made him realize that he had a few demons to get rid of. His need to face them away from the field opened doors for rookie Demarcus Ayers and former practice squad athlete Cobi Hamilton, who were given an opportunity to showcase their skills during the season.
Sports Illustrated did an exclusive interview with Bryant a few months ago to get an update on how he has been doing, and if he is on the right track back to football:
Some fans may believe what Bryant said, while others may just watch the video and say two words: 'Prove it.'
Bryant has been, and will continue to be, a touchy subject to some people. They just want the Steelers to win another Super Bowl and Bryant's talent potential is off the charts. The statistics prove this fact, despite him having only played two years of professional football: 76 receptions for 1,314 yards and 15 total touchdowns in just 21 games played.
In the following three workout videos Bryant posted to his personal Instagram account, he showcases what he has worked on athletically in anticipation of a return to professional football.
Drive. Determination. Quieting the haters. These are just a few things that Bryant is focused on displaying on an everyday basis.
I don't need nobody to believe in me I know I believe in me plus my family and agents I will show everyone and that's on my kids!!— Martavis Bryant (@ThaBestUNO) February 2, 2017
While many have a strong opinion about this young athlete, his interview with SI, the videos he is posting on social media, and the messages he Tweets are all signs of the new Martavis Bryant Steelers fans will soon know, and the rest of the entire NFL will fear, as long as he quiets the demons permanently.
Along with being a Film Room analyst on BTSC, Nathaniel is also the founder/ editor-in-chief of SteelCityReport.com. Check out more of his work HERE.