NFL Camps: Martavis Bryant struggling with Raiders

August 14, 2018 GMT

Does this sound familiar, or what?!

Apparently, things aren’t going well for Martavis Bryant thus far as an Oakland Raider. And Steelers fans can easily relate as to why.

According to this Las Vegas Review Journal story, Jon Gruden is unhappy with Bryant’s performance in training camp. He’s also not thrilled with his lack of availability because of an “illness.”

Take a look at these quotes as reported by Michael Gehlken.

“He’s got to get out here and play better,” Gruden said. “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 missing practice time because of unspecified “illnesses.” A failure to master the offense. A lack of versatility within his game.

This ringing any bells, Pittsburgh? Oh, and Gruden wasn’t done!

“Nothing is going to be given to anybody,” he 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.”

Well you shouldn’t be confident, Chucky. Because as football fans around these parts can tell you, we waited for all those things to happen for four years and it never clicked full time.

Seriously. Look at the choice of criticisms Gruden uses there. A lack of consistency. A sense of preordained privilege. Bryant needs to “understand the best players are going to play.”

Like when he publicly pouted over JuJu Smith-Schuster getting more stats than him a year ago?

When I read stories like this, it makes me think there was a little fire to the smoke (pun unintentional, but unavoidable) about Bryant potentially facing another suspension.

That report also came from Gehlken in June. Nothing manifested. But with so much of Bryant’s behavior repeating, doesn’t that make you wonder if whatever delay existed that prevented Bryant from participating in Latrobe due to allegedly failing to set up counselling sessions properly, may have also been at the root of that story too?

It’s like “MartLimas” never left.