The Pittsburgh Steelers were a dominant force on the offensive side of the ball last season and will be hoping to be even better in 2014.
Despite the looming early season suspension for breakout running back Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh can still call upon the talents of last year's top wide receiver, Antonio Brown, and Ben Roethlisberger, complete with his new big-money contract.
Alongside these star offensive names is 2014's surprise package, wide receiver Martavis Bryant. And, according to a new report today, the deep ball threat is going to pose even bigger questions of opposition secondary after making a dramatic leap in one area in the months following his rookie season.
The 6ft 4 inch receiver told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he has added 10 pounds to his rookie weight since the 2014 campaign came to an end. He now stands at an imposing 225 pounds.
"Everyone gets bigger and better every year," Bryant explained. "I wanted to make sure I got better. I didn't want to slack off or become complacent. I had some things I wanted to get done in the offseason, so I went to work."
Steelers fans will be delighted on two fronts. With Bryant expected to carry more of the load in his second year in the league his added weight will make him a tough competitor for any ball heading his way.
Secondly, the 23-year-old's focus is clear for everyone to see. After an impressive first year in the NFL (549 yards and eight TDs from just 26 passes) he could be forgiven for relaxing a little over the early part of 2015. After missing the first six games last year through a combination of injury and poor conditioning, Bryant had other plans:
"It's a lot easier because I'm in shape," Bryant said. "I don't have to think like I did last year. I'm not stressing about learning the plays. Everything is slower for me. I don't have to do a lot of thinking. Now it's about going out, playing, performing and having fun with it."
Matavis Bryant's new physique makes him an even more exciting option as the Steelers' number two receiver. The New England Patriots and their much changed secondary will be the first to see if they can handle a beefed up Bryant and elite Antonio Brown duo in 2015.
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