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Steelers

Martavis Bryant on his Steelers future: 'I'll let everything play out in the offseason'

Chris Adamski
| Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018, 8:54 p.m.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant catches a pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for a touchdown with Jacksonville Jaguars free safety Tashaun Gipson defending during the first half of an NFL divisional football AFC playoff game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018.
Associated Press
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant catches a pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for a touchdown with Jacksonville Jaguars free safety Tashaun Gipson defending during the first half of an NFL divisional football AFC playoff game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018.

In some ways, Martavis Bryant's game Sunday was a metaphor for his 2017 season.

Flashes of brilliance – but overall an afterthought. And clearly not a major part of the Steelers' offensive gameplan.

Bryant had a 36-yard touchdown catch and another reception for 42 yards. But he was the target on only four of Ben Roethlisberger's 58 attempts, and he was visibly behind not only All Pro Antonio Brown but players such as Eli Rogers and Vance McDonald when it came to the Steelers' offensive priorities during what was a 45-42 divisional round playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"Just wasn't a big part of the gameplan," Bryant said after the game. "Not my call, it's (offensive coordinator Todd Haley's) call. So whenever my number's called, I'm always ready to go."

Roethlisberger threw passes toward five different intended receivers in the first two drives alone – but not Bryant, who barely saw the field during the first quarter. The first ball intended for Bryant came 29 ½ minutes into the game: his touchdown in which it appeared as if Roethlisberger threw it up for grabs in the end zone on a fourth-and-11 from the 36 (Bryant confirmed he was the intended receiver).

Bryant was on the field more frequently in the second half but not, for example, as much as McDonald – who had 14 catches all season.

After requesting a trade earlier this season, does Bryant want – or expect – to be back with the Steelers next season?

"Man, right now, I'm not going to discuss that," he said, with general manager Kevin Colbert standing nearby in the Steelers' locker room. "We just lost. … I'll let everything play out in the offseason and worry about the game right now. I'm just sad we lost."

Like the rest of the locker room, Bryant was quiet and spoke softly after the upsetting loss.

"Hurtful," Bryant said of his emotions. "We had a great year, man, had a great run. Unfortunately, it came up short. But, just come back next year try to do better."

Bryant is entering the final season of his contract.

Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at cadamski@tribweb.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

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