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Steelers hope suspension will have positive impact on Martavis Bryant

Wild Card Round - Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals

CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 09: Martavis Bryant #10 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs with the ball in the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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Before the playoffs got underway, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he wanted wide receiver Martavis Bryant to “rise up” and accept the challenge of being “the best in the world.”

Bryant may not have reached that level, but he played well in both of the Steelers’ playoff games and continued to show skills that make his future in Pittsburgh look bright. Things looked a bit dimmer at the start of the season when Bryant was serving a four-game suspension for violating the substance abuse policy, something that team president Art Rooney II hopes was a wakeup call about what to do off the field.

“Martavis is a player who has tremendous ability and potential, and we just have to continue to work with him to make sure he takes care of his business off the field and puts himself in a position to be as great a player that he can be,” Rooney said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We hope the experience he had earlier this season will have an impact on him.”

One need only look at Josh Gordon’s career trajectory to get how important it is to Bryant’s future that he avoid further drug issues when he’s away from the team. If he can, the Bryant-Antonio Brown tandem should keep the Steelers passing game among the most prolific in the league for several years to come.