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Martavis Bryant responds to Ben Roethlisberger's playoff challenge

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The Pittsburgh Steelers, after dramatically earning their playoff spot on the final day of the 2015 regular season, know that they'll have to be at their very best if they are to progress past their Wild Card game against the Cincinnati Bengals this weekend.

Their veteran quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, certainly knew that when he publicly called for his second-year wide receiver target Martavis Bryant to up his game earlier this week in some fairly cutting comments.

Roethlisberger had warned Bryant not to "crumble, wilt and pout," insisting the receiver needed to "toughen up" in order to put together a big postseason for the Steelers.


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Now, two days on from those comments, Bryant has responded in the way you'd probably expect from a young player called out by a franchise veteran.

As reported by ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the deep ball threat said he was "happy he (Roethlisberger) issued the challenge" and that he "accepts it."

Having sat out the first four games of the 2015 season due to a suspension, Bryant has actually been pretty productive for Pittsburgh this year - racking up 765 yards and six receiving touchdowns.

Step up

The 24-year-old's production did slow down towards the end of the campaign, however, and he managed just two receptions for six yards in the final two games of the regular season.

Coming up against a tough Bengals defense this weekend, Pittsburgh will likely need far more than that from Bryant if they are to progress. 

Big Ben said this week his comments were a challenge to Bryant and were made "with love", and Steelers fans will be hoping the young player is ready to back up his own words today with some big plays come Sunday.

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Cincinnati Bengals
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