Martavis Bryant has certainly matured this season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers' wide receiver hasn't been playing to his full ability lately and his recent play gave quarterback Ben Roethlisberger just cause to issue a challenge to Bryant.
“I just felt like we need him,” Roethlisberger said Wednesday, per the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. “I love that guy like a little brother. I just wanted him to know we need him to step up. It was nothing more than a challenge. That's all.”
Bryant totaled two catches for six yards in the final two weeks of the season, and left much to be desired on the field.
For his part, Bryant has taken the criticism well, and is ready to step up his game come playoff time.
“It was good for him to challenge me, and I'm going to accept it,” Bryant said. “He's the leader of the team. If he feels like you need to step up your game, it's his job to call you out. I'm happy he did it. He woke me up, and I'm going to get back to work.”
Antonio Brown has gotten in on the action as well, and is also helping Bryant get out of the slump he's in.
“I talk with him a lot,” Brown said. “I grabbed him after practice to catch some off the JUGS [machine]. I asked him, ‘Hey, do you want to win a Super Bowl?' The season that we just embarked on is over. It's a new season, and we have an opportunity to create a new identity.”
The Steelers will need all hands on deck this Saturday as they put it all on the line against their hated rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals.
Images Courtesy of Keystone Press