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Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger to Martavis Bryant: 'Come talk to your quarterback'

Joe Rutter
| Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017, 12:03 p.m.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger pitches back to receiver Martavis Bryant on the first play from scrimmage during the first quarter against the Bengals Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, at Heinz Field.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger pitches back to receiver Martavis Bryant on the first play from scrimmage during the first quarter against the Bengals Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, at Heinz Field.

The next time Martavis Bryant has an issue with his role in the Steelers offense, Ben Roethlisberger would like to be a part of the conversation.

“Come talk to your quarterback,” Roethlisberger said Tuesday on his weekly 93.7 FM radio segment.

Roethlisberger was responding to Bryant's absence from the team Monday after the disgruntled wide receiver went on social media Sunday night and took a shot at rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Bryant was unhappy he had just one catch for three yards in the Steelers' 29-14 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. He has just 18 catches for 234 yards through seven games.

“That's why I don't want to get too much involved because we haven't really (talked),” Roethlisberger said. “Yesterday we had a long conversation through text messages and things like that. He was telling me about his frustrations and whatever, and he told me he's talked to the coaches.

“I said, ‘Tae, the one thing you haven't done is talk to me. Come talk to me. How can I help you. Let's figure out a way and game plan that me as a quarterback, I can talk to you, I can help you, I can talk through an issue you may have, whatever it may be.'

“Let's figure this thing out together because he really is a good teammate. I know it seems crazy and you guys might be rolling your eyes but he is a good teammate. We've got to talk and figure this thing out.”

Roethlisberger said he plans to have a face-to-face talk with Bryant on Wednesday when the team resumes practice for this Sunday's game at Detroit. Players are off on Tuesdays.

Bryant did not show up Monday for film review and position meetings. His agent said he was sick and had visited a doctor.

A week earlier, Bryant denied he had requested a trade. On Tuesday, he talked to an ESPN reporter and offered a different stance.

“I just want to be happy, whether it's here or it's somewhere else,” Bryant said. “I just want to help contribute. I just want to be the best player that I can be on and off the field … and I want to be given the chance to be that. If it ain't here then, so be it, then it'll be somewhere else. But, I would like for it to be here, but if not, then oh well. Just got to move on.”

Roethlisberger hopes Bryant remains with the Steelers.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I know he made some comments about playing this year and next year (before hitting free agency). That's his prerogative and that's fine. Then give us these next two years. Let's get the most out of him because we can use him.

“I'm excited for what can come. I know people are upset because you don't talk about a teammate, but he can help us. I'm not giving up on him and I hope he's not giving up on himself. So let's find a way to use him.”

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