Ben Roethlisberger is glad to have Martavis Bryant back with the team. But it’s going to take some time to know whether the Steelers quarterback can trust the twice-suspended but just-reinstated wide receiver.
According to Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger supported Bryant during his first suspension, but “felt betrayed and even lied to” by the wideout before his second suspension.
Roethlisberger said he wanted to have a private conversation with Bryant, but the onus for getting back in the team’s good graces was on him.
“It’s more than just me. He has to win back everybody’s trust,” Roethlisberger said. “I would hope he comes up to me and we go somewhere to talk in private. After that, he has to show with his work ethic and by staying clean that he cares — really cares — about us. If he does that, it’ll be huge. He can really help us. He can be so great.”
And of course, Roethlisberger cares because he himself has recommitted to the Steelers, after scaring some fans with talk of retirement early this offseason (talk which few took seriously).
But the 35-year-old said he was all-in this year, and will look at things annually from this point forward.
“Just because you think about your future doesn’t mean you have to retire,” he said. “A lot of guys think about their future. Look at James Harrison [who retired briefly in August 2014] …
“I hope the people of Pittsburgh know me well enough to know I love football, I love Pittsburgh and I love the Steelers. My teammates and Steelers fans are going to get 110 percent from me. They don’t need to worry about getting anything less.”
And he’s going to make sure he gets the same thing from his teammates, if they want to come back to the family.