After being acquired from the Pittsburgh Steelers for a third-round pick back in April, Martavis Bryant’s Oakland Raiders career has not gotten off to a tremendous start.
Yet to fully comprehend Jon Gruden’s playbook, the talented young receiver has been suiting up with the second-team offense during training camp.
In his preseason opener against the Detroit Lions last week, the 26-year-old Bryant recorded just one catch for 18 yards on four targets. Since then, he’s missed two days of practice to headaches.
Back on the field Wednesday, Gruden had a somewhat interesting way to explain what the enigmatic pass catcher brings to the table.
Gruden calls Martavis Bryant “the White Tiger. I used to go to Busch Gardens to see the white tiger and he was always in his cage. Like 13 times. But when he finally came out, it was special.”
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) August 15, 2018
It’s a solid idiom for the young receiver. Having been suspended multiple times throughout his young career, Bryant has been tremendous when actually on the field. In fact, he’s put up 1,917 yards and 17 touchdowns in 36 career games. The problem? He’s missed 28 of a possible 64 games during that span.
Going back to his old-school mentality, the comparison Gruden makes to Bryant is indeed interesting. Though, it also tells us a story of a head coach who is high on the receiver. That differs from the way Bryant has been used thus far during summer camp.
And in reality, it could lead to a surprise performance from Bryant in 2018. At the very least, he’ll receive ample playing time should the receiver show out in the final three preseason games.