Many are aware by now that Martavis Bryant is facing a possible four game suspension due to failed drug testing. Bryant is seen by many as a potential star in this league which makes the suspension a hard thing to accept. Any team that wins a Super Bowl must have capable players to fill in effectively at any given time. With that being said, two of those players are expected to be Markus Wheaton and Sammie Coates. Their increased play could be a blessing.
Wheaton – according to many coaches, experts and fans – has shown drastic improvement from last season. His main weakness was being less effective in the deep passing game. With the presence of Sammie Coates who can stretch the field, Wheaton will receive plenty of one-on-one opportunities to expand his game.
Coates doesn’t have to catch many passes in order to do his job well. If Coates plays effectively on the outside as well as showing toughness catching passes in the middle, he will keep defenses from double-teaming Antonio Brown.
Heath Miller will be Heath Miller; steady as a reciever and blocker.
Another position to keep a close eye on is the number two and three tight end spots. In the red zone, Matt Spaeth and Jesse James will have increased opportunities with Bryant not in action.
Many hope that if Bryant is suspended he will have a renewed mindset and a deeper passion for success when he returns. In the meantime, as head coach Mike Tomlin says: “Next Man Up”.
The collective of Wheaton, Coates, Miller, Speath and James will sink or swim together and may be a blessing in disguise. With all that talent and with some good expierence, they are more than capable of handling the job.
When Bryant returns he will likely return to an improved team – maybe not in stats, but in unity and efficiently.