clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Steelers rookie Martavis Bryant would like it if people pronounced his name correctly

New, comments

The phantom 'U' that's added to his name annoys the Steelers rookie, but he's used to it. He has been giving people plenty of opportunities to get used to seeing him and saying his name.

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe the rookie can chalk it up to people adding the 'U' to "Martavis" because it makes them connect his name with the word "touchdown."

Nah, that's a stretch. It's "Martavis," not "Martavius," and he demonstrates ample reason to link him with the word "touchdown."

Bryant, the team's fourth-round pick in 2014, didn't get onto the field for the team's first six games. But through the next four, he compiled 310 receiving yards on 14 catches and six touchdowns. Apply his four-game pace over a full season, he'd have 56 catches, 1,240 yards and 24 touchdowns.

So call him whatever you want.

"I don't even get mad at it anymore," Bryant told Will Graves of the Associated Press. "It would be nice if they say it right but it is what it is."

And what it is, is impressive. Bryant's six touchdown catches put him at 13th in the NFL in this category, just two behind Steelers' team leader Antonio Brown. The latest TD was his longest, an 80-yard score off a quintessential Ben Roethlisberger play-extending, late-release throw near the end of the team's 20-13 loss to the Jets. Bryant finished with a career-high 143 yards on four catches to go along with that touchdown.

One big play jacked up his stats, something not likely to have gone unnoticed. But regardless of the situation, the combination of Bryant's play-making ability and Roethlisberger's ability to extend plays creates a significant threat on the field. This is something the Tennessee Titans no doubt are noticing. The Steelers head to Nashville for a Monday Night Football game against the 2-7 Titans, a team boasting a decent pass-defense but one of the league's worst run-defenses.

Nothing opens up deep passing like a strong running game. Perhaps, though, Bryant's opportunities will be limited and, certainly, the rookie eventually will fall to earth. He'll have some down-games statistically. There may even be a game in which he doesn't score a touchdown. But the fact remains the Steelers haven't had a rookie wide receiver this productive since Mike Wallace in 2009.

Wallace in his rookie year? Six touchdowns in 16 games. Bryant is nearly halfway to Wallace's full-season total of 756 receiving yards and his 22.1 yards-per-catch average is ahead of Wallace's 19.4 by nearly three yards.

In view of that, people should remember the name of the deer-like athlete who keeps showing up in the end zone is "Mar-TAY-vis" Bryant. Not that it matters to him because he's just going to keep doing what he's doing.

Check Out Football Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with The Standard3 on BlogTalkRadio