Bryant needs to think before he acts

PITTSBURGH — If Mike Tomlin sticks to his plan, Martavis Bryant will stay on the sideline tonight in Detroit, somewhere between the table full of Gatorade cups and the kicker’s practice screen.

(They’re letting him make the trip, which makes sense. Imagine what trouble he could get into home alone).

That’s his penalty for popping off on social media about being unhappy with a role in the Steelers offense that’s smaller than he envisioned.

Bryant really hasn’t expressed any remorse over what he did, but he doesn’t seem to understand much about this.

ESPN’s Josina Anderson apparently had a detailed but unrecorded conversation with Bryant during the week. She said he told her he was concerned about providing for his family.

He had no income last year because he didn’t stay compliant with the NFL’s substance abuse policy and was suspended. Did that concern him, especially coming after he lost a quarter season’s pay for the same infraction?

The Steelers are penalizing Bryant today with the idea it will keep him on the straight and narrow through this season. Then they can get rid of him.

Bryant is a talent, but he’s also a headache. They can’t get rid of him now because they might need him. An NFL team’s fortunes can change dramatically on one play. Just ask the Green Bay Packers, who lost Aaron Rodgers to a broken collarbone.

One awkward tackle and the Steelers might be looking for a No. 1 target to replace Antonio Brown. Bryant is the only one on the current roster who might be able to fill that assignment.

So while the Steelers are playing the Lions, Bryant will have time to think about things.

Perhaps for the first time.

Protective interest

One of the biggest mistakes Bryant made was disparaging rookie receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster in an online post.

It’s always bad form to rip a teammate, and he picked an especially sensitive target. Smith-Schuster is 20 years old, the youngest player in the league. Teammates have come to look at him as a little brother. Bryant’s harsh words upset his teammates as well as his bosses.

Lots of competition

There was plenty of stupid to go around last week, so Bryant’s headlines didn’t last long outside of Pittsburgh.

n Houston Texans owner Bob McNair said “We can’t have inmates running the prison,” in reference to the national anthem protests.

McNair, 79, will probably spent the rest of the his life trying to back off that statement, and it will still be part of his legacy.

Very wealthy guy let the employees know what he thinks of them.

n Houston Astros outfielder Yuli Gurriel celebrated his World Series home run by making a racially insensitive gesture that seemed to slur Japanese-born Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish.

Hitting a home run in the World Series isn’t its own reward? Now a hitter needs to mock the pitcher, too?

More chopping

It was reported last week that ESPN is a month or so away from another round of personnel cuts.

This slashing is projected to claim 40 to 60 jobs, split among on-air performers and support staff.

You may recall that ESPN had a massive staff reduction over the summer that eliminated a number of familiar names and faces including NFL guru John Clayton, a Pittsburgh native.

When it’s all said and done, will we get even more low budget shows that feature people screaming at each other?

The very latest

KDKA-TV had the recovery of JuJu Smith-Schuster’s stolen bicycle as “Breaking News.”

When it comes to the Steelers, we’re Mayberry.

Mehno can be reached at johnmehnocolumn@gmail.com

COMMENTS