In his first season with Oakland, wide receiver Martavis Bryant has had some early struggles.
First with the playbook and then with migraines that caused him to miss two consecutive days of practice. But despite all of that, Raiders coach Jon Gruden is confident in the wideout entering his fourth season.
“We’re calling Martavis the white tiger,” Gruden said, via NFL.com.
“I used to go to Busch Gardens in Tampa,” Gruden added. “We call (former Buccaneers receiver Joey Galloway) the white tiger in Tampa. You go to Busch Gardens and they’ve got a white tiger. You go 12 times or 13 times, the white tiger was always in his cage.
“But the white tiger came out today. Bryant came out. I don’t know if you get that analogy but sometimes he comes out to play and sometimes he doesn’t. It’s good to see him because he’s really special, like the white tiger. It’s late in the day here.”
Bryant enters the 2018 season with the Raiders after spending three years with the Steelers. He was suspended for the entire 2016 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, but promptly came back the next year to record 50 receptions for 603 yards and three touchdowns. Bryant had one reception for 18 yards in Oakland’s preseason opener against the Lions.
They will return to the field Saturday to face the Rams in Los Angeles. The Raiders will also open Week 1 against the Rams in Oakland on Sept. 10.