Martavis Bryant Improves as a WR

By G.Stryker

Three receptions for 48 yards, might not be the best game for Martavis Bryant, but watching him play the Ravens last Sunday showed a lot of growth in his game. I am one of the toughest people you will hear about Martavis Bryant’s receiving and hand positioning, but for the Ravens game, he did an excellent job at turning his body toward the ball, high pointing the football, and putting both palms on the ball to catch it with his hands. He also did this in traffic, on contested catches.

Here are the breakdown and game times for Bryant’s catches:

2nd Qtr 1:38 Bryant at the Z on the sideline working one on one. Runs a dig works back to the ball, and high points it with both hands, facing the pass. Lazy receivers body catch these balls, Bryant was not lazy here. Perfect form.

2nd Qtr 1:23 Bryant working the outside on the bunch formation with TEs Jesse James and Vance McDonald, runs a drag route. He does an excellent job of jumping to high point and meet the ball in stride with both hands, body facing the ball, and both palms on it for the immediate possession.

2nd Qtr 0:57 On the outside in the Z again running a drag in at 20yds. Perfect jump, high point, facing the pass, both hands on the ball for the immediate hands catch.

Not Bryant’s flashiest game, but one that showed me something I didn’t think he was capable of. All 3 catches were made easier by facing the ball, jumping toward it, and having excellent hand positioning with thumbs in palms on the ball. This is where Bryant becomes the biggest mismatch. Using his size, like a Megatron, to create reception opportunities, even while covered.

Bryant also lined up in the slot a few times, something he has never done in the past. Though he didn’t get any targets from the slot, I am assured that he can do the job from watching him play the Ravens this past week. Bryant is also showing more of a commitment to blocking, and seems to be improving there as well, both in his ability to get to the defender and nullify them during running plays. Perhaps JuJu being on this team, showing what he can do as a blocker, is having an effect on the rest of the wide receivers. They surely can’t be shown up by a 20 year old?

With Bryant improving as an every down receiver, it opens up the offense and helps to make Ben’s job that much easier, since he can be confident when selecting targets.

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