Ben Roethlisberger says Martavis Bryant 'looks like a stud,' expects a full season

Take it with the standard grain of salt that comes with any NFL news item in the middle of June, but the Steelers are sounding optimistic about Martavis Bryant in the early going of 2017. Specifically, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger thinks that Bryant looks like his previously outstanding self, calling the wideout, who spent the 2016 season suspended, a "stud."

"Good — learning some of the stuff we put in last year he didn't know about, remembering things that we had in before," Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette when asked how Bryant was fitting in with the team. "He looks like a stud, as usual, so we're excited for him to be on the field this year and help us out."

Losing Bryant was a huge blow to the Steelers in 2016 -- Antonio Brown was excellent as usual, but when things got serious against the Patriots in the playoffs, Pittsburgh had to lean on Sammie Coates and Cobi Hamilton. The results were ... not great. The Steelers addressed concerns this offseason, getting Bryant back through his reinstatement in April (obviously his fantasy value spiked when that happened) and drafting JuJu Smith-Schuster in the second round. 

But that doesn't mean the Steelers are set. After all, Bryant is only conditionally reinstated; after also being suspended four games in 2015, Bryant must find a treating clinician that the league approves and, of course, he's got to stay out of trouble. The Steelers are expecting all of that to happen, with Roethlisberger making it clear the team plans to see him all year.

"Well, I think it's just proving to us he can be out there all season," Roethlisberger said. "We need him all year, so I think that'll be big for us."

This offseason featured the semblance of some trouble for the Steelers. Roethlisberger softly threatened to retire (no one believed him and he eventually came back), there were rumblings about Brown's status (he got a new monster contract) and Le'Veon Bell became a free agent (he's currently franchised and the sides are working on a deal). 

It's possible the Steelers have the best receiving corps since Big Ben arrived, but he'd like everyone to pump the brakes on that for right now. "Well, we've got a ways to go for that," Roethlisberger said. "I know when you have Antonio Brown, you've got one of the best receivers you'll ever play with, so anything you add to that is a good thing."

If Brown, Bryant and Bell are healthy and on the field, there's no question the Steelers have one of the best receiving trios in the league. That's not even mentioning Eli Rogers (better than people think and a nice fit with those guys) and Smith-Schuster. The Steelers should be loaded if nothing breaks wrong on offense this offseason. That includes Bryant remaining eligible. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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