Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger levied criticism against wide receiver Martavis Bryant after he was suspended for the entirety of the 2016 season.
Now back with the Steelers, Bryant wants to have a conversation with Roethlisberger to clear the air as they look forward to the 2017 campaign.
“I feel like we need to,” Bryant said, via Dan Graziano of ESPN.com. “We should have a man-to-man. Because some of the things he put out there about me, I kind of didn’t agree with how he did it. So I want to sit down and hear his own opinion, man-to-man, about why he did that.”
Roethlisberger made his comments about Bryant after he was reinstated to the team this spring.
“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.”
Bryant was suspended due to repeated violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy.
“I mean, at that time, I was going through a lot of stuff. I wasn’t really even worried about his opinion at that time, because there was just a lot that was going on,” Bryant said. “He’s my brother. I love him. But at the same time, I have my own family outside of football. I have my own problems. I’m not just going to come up to you and open up to you about what’s going on with my personal life. That’s not how I am. We just didn’t see eye-to-eye on that, but as far as right now, everything’s great.”
Bryant caught 50 passes for 765 yards and six touchdowns in 11 games for the Steelers in 2015. He missed four games that year in a separate suspension for the league. Bryant provides a home run threat for the Pittsburgh offense as he compiled 14 touchdowns in the first 21 games of his career.