Following Bryant’s social media post in which he criticized teammate Juju Smith-Schuster and then called out sick from the teams mandatory meeting on Monday, Ben addressed his disgruntled receiver and what he thinks about his latest actions.
“I spoke with Tay [Martavis] yesterday a little bit on the phone. We’re going to talk tomorrow in person at the facility. I’m not going to speak too much on his frame of mind because honestly, these things, like I said last week, they were surprising to me because I don’t see any of the pout, quit, or anything from him on the field.”
As for Bryant telling Josina Anderson of ESPN that if he’s not traded he won’t sign back with the Steelers when his contract expires after next season, Ben said “That’s his prerogative, that’s fine, then give us everything you have then for the next two years, lets get the most out of him, because we can use him and I’m excited for what can come.”
When asked what the right way is to get what you want if you’re Martavis Bryant in this situation, Ben’s advice was “come talk to your quarterback.”
Finally, Ben addressed Bryant ripping a teammate, adding “We all should be a little upset, you don’t talk about a teammate and do things like that.”
Bryant wasn’t the only player drawing headlines after the game against the Bengals last week as Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict didn’t shake any of the Steelers captains hands following the coin toss and then during the game kicked Steelers fullback Roosevelt Nix in the head.
“The pregame thing was a huge shock. Even if you absolutely hate your opponent, you’d think there’s a little bit of respect, you’re in the NFL together, you’re one of the elite few and you go out there and you just stand back, your arms crossed, you’re talking nasty stuff at the coin toss with those kids out there and stuff, it’s…ehh whatever, we won.”
Ben wasn’t without his own drama this week though as cameras caught him and head coach Mike Tomlin in a bit of exchange over the play calling at the end of the half that cost the Steelers a final shot at the end zone and forced them to settle for a field goal.
“I was just asking coach what happened, what was the situation there. Those things happen all the time. It is a very emotional game. Coaches get on other coaches, players on coaches, all that stuff happens. There is nothing there other than just trying to air out some frustration of, ‘Man, I want to put seven points on the board, not three at the end of the half.”
You can listen to Ben’s show here.