The Raiders begin their preseason on Friday night against the Lions, and one of the key players to watch will be Martavis Bryant.
A member of the second string behind Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson, Bryant will get a chance to prove that he can get it done, in the aftermath of being called out directly by coach Jon Gruden and indirectly by offensive coordinator Greg Olson, who told James Jones of NFL Network that Bryant is struggling to pick up the playbook.
But Gruden threw Bryant a bouquet on Wednesday, praising the player for his performance in practice.
“Martavis is not a good talent, he’s a great talent, and we’re going to continue to work him into our offense,” Gruden said. “Today showed I think what he’s capable of doing. We have big plans for him.”
Those plans may begin to take shape tonight, especially if Bryant can deliver in the preseason. If he does, Gruden can consider his P.R. strategy with the former Pittsburgh Steeler to have been successful.