The Steelers weren’t the same offense the last two weeks of the regular season that they were for much of the last two seasons.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh Tuesday morning that getting back to where the offense should be for the postseason will require more from wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who had one catch for no gain in last week’s win in Cleveland.
“Not that I’m shying from saying this [to Bryant]. It comes from love,” Roethlisberger said. “He needs to understand that…at this time of year you have to toughen up. You have to make tough plays, you have to make tough catches and you have to find ways to do everything you can to help this team.
“He was sick last week and that got him behind a little bit. But I love to challenge him. We all do. The sky is the limit for him. I want to challenge him to be the best in the world, and it’s really up to him with what he wants to do with that challenge.
“Does he want to crumble and wilt and pout and let it bother him? Or does he want to rise up, step up, say ‘I’ll take that challenge’ and does he want to be the best in the world?”
Bryant has scored 15 touchdowns in 21 career games but has been kept out of the end zone in four straight games. He had 10 catches for 87 yards vs. the Broncos on Dec. 20 but has two catches since.
Roethlisberger appears on The Cook and Poni Show every Tuesday.
“We need a big postseason from Martavis,” Roethlisberger said later in the interview. “We know defenses will be tuned in to [Antonio Brown] so we need other guys to step up.
“We need Martavis to grow and be tough. We need Steeler tough from him.”
Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that Bryant had a minor injury last week.
“We’re excited about preparing this week with Martavis and everyone else,” Tomlin said.