Jon Gruden calls out Martavis Bryant over poor training camp
Martavis Bryant has been given the fresh start he wanted this season, but it does not sound like he is making the most of it thus far.
The Oakland Raiders sent a third-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Bryant back in April, and the wide receiver has not impressed his new head coach. On Saturday, Jon Gruden told reporters he needs to see more from Bryant.
“He’s got to get out here and play better,” Gruden said, per Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “He’s in a competitive situation. Right now, a lot of the other receivers have had a nice camp. He’s just got to learn the offense. He’s got to stay out here. He’s had some illnesses. He’s got to get on the field. He’s got to master the offense and become more versatile, and that’s the key to making this team better.”
Bryant is competing for the No. 3 wide receiver spot behind Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson. While the Raiders paid a fairly high price for Bryant, Ryan Switzer has been impressive in the slot and returning punts. Gehlken notes that rookie seventh-round pick Marcell Ateman has also been “surging,” and Johnny Holton and Dwayne Harris are expected to play a role on special teams.
Is it possible Bryant could be cut from the 53-man roster?
“Nothing is going to be given to anybody,” Gruden said. “It doesn’t matter how you got here and what your history card says. We need everyone to understand the best players are going to play, and he’s got to be more consistent. And I’m confident he will.”
For now, it sounds like Gruden is just trying to light a fire under Bryant. However, it’s noteworthy that what we’re hearing about Bryant is far less flattering than what has been said about the much older Nelson. Bryant is in a great opportunity to succeed, but he has to capitalize on it.