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Ben Roethlisberger Says He’s Unable To Get a Read On Le’Veon Bell


Pittsburgh Steelers rookie running back Le’Veon Bell is on course to make his NFL regular-season debut Sunday in London Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said Tuesday morning during his radio show that he’s not positive that will come to fruition.

“Honestly, I have no idea with him,” Roethlisberger said on 93.7 The Fan. “You can’t get a read on him. One day, he’s practicing, one day, he’s not; one day, he’s going hard, the next day, he’s not. So honestly, I wish I could.

“If he was a guy like Heath Miller that you knew was busting his butt every day to get back there, because I know Heath is a guy that wanted to come back the day after surgery and that’s just who he is. I’ve known Heath for a long time, obviously played with a long time, so I know him better.

“Le’Veon is a rookie, I don’t know him quite well enough yet. But if he can come back and help us, we’ll take him.”

While some will clearly think Roethlisberger is insinuating that Bell is soft, I really do think this is just a case of the quarterback trying not to tip-off whether or not he’s playing this week. In fact, Mike Tomlin didn’t address Bell’s status until later in the day, so Roethlisberger really probably didn’t know what the rookie’s chances of playing this week were.

“We are excited about watching him be a full participant this week during the course of practice,” said Tomlin during his Tuesday press conference. “We will let that dictate his play, but we are optimistic about his availability.”

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Luke Shabro

    I hope that’s the case because he makes it sound like Bell’s work ethic is questionable which is not close to what we heard all training camp. I’m expecting more of the same so I won’t be disappointed.

  • NW86

    I know that it’s heard to interpret when you can’t hear his tone, but in text, this certainly comes across to me like he’s taking shots at the rookie. I know people will say “this is just Ben being Ben”, but I don’t think he should get a pass because of who he is. I think he should spend more time working himself and less time questioning everyone else’s dedication.

  • Marcela Garza-Meza

    Right in the money!

  • chris ward

    Yeah when listening to it on the fan, Once he said “one day he’s going hard, the next day he’s not. It did seem to be a slight shot at Bell. Or maybe Roethlisberger was just trying to praise Heath Miller on his work ethic. Nonetheless it doesn’t look good in text.

  • psteelers

    Exactly, he has no room to talk. Especially after the game he played the other night. This is where this team miss Hines , Harrison and Farrior. Guarantee he wouldn’t have made those comments with those guys around. Of all people the drama queen is trying to call someone out. Lol. Now watch how his apologists come on her to try and twist it. The same guys that bashed Hines for calling blackjack Ben out for missing the ravens game a few years back.

    Don’t call out a guy that hasn’t contributed to the 0-3 start call out those that have played.

    Cowardly

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I think it is POSSIBLE this was an evaluation of how Bell is recovering from the injury and how the training staff is treating him at practice, but it doesn’t SOUND that way. I am a HUGE Ben fan. Someone who I typically trusted to make mistakes, but when the game was on the line to be clutch.

    The Ben since the injury against the Chiefs is not that guy. I am wondering if the FO knew more than we did when they took Landry Jones. Maybe they just had it in their gut that Ben was and has taken so much abuse that he is near the end of his years.

    I don’t know, but this statement doesn’t sound very much like a leader to me.

    And before anyone blames Tomlin for everything….you don’t forget how to coach, the Giants and Redskins aren’t 0-3 due only to the coach. There is always more to it than that. IMO, the gameplan the team used on Sunday was the best we had all year. They moved the ball, and they got points, but the team MUST stop handing it to the other team. It is killing us.

  • Crazy Bone

    I am going to try and withold judgement on Bell until he plays. I don’t blame Ben for questioning what is going on. Some guys won’t play unless they are 100% healthy. Others get on the field and battle through being hurt. Let’s see what Bell does going forward.

  • costanza2k1

    Throw anyone under the bus lately?

  • cencalsteeler

    IMO, it seems Bens demeanor has changed. During interviews, he seems irritated, he doesn’t look interested and he’s just going through the motions. I know not everyone enjoys being interviewed, but he seems to carry that onto the field. He seems to be raising his arms in disgust, shaking his head, standing on the sidelines with his arms crossed, etc. That vibe trickles down throughout your locker room and infects the team. I am disappointed in Bens attitude lately. I don’t think he realizes how fortunate he is to be in the position he is in. I miss the days when he wore his hat backwards and cheered on the defense from the sidelines. A leader must provide motivation to his team. To add the extra boost players need when they need to be picked up. Lead by example, and encourage teammates. I know 0-3 is hard to not show frustration, but that is the job of the captain and expected of the leader of this team. Boost morale, be positive and show you have faith in each other. The interview, regardless of how you take it, was something a captain or team leader should have never said about a teammate.

  • Jeremy Skillings

    Maybe Ben should just shut up and be supportive. At least until he isn’t a big reason the team is losing.

  • costanza2k1

    not everyone can be a leader, no matter how hard you try to be one…eventually the true personality shows up. The best thing he could do is lead by play and realize that his actions/reactions effect others on the team especially the young players.

  • RDH

    Wow, look at the lemmings. How soon people forget Bubby Brister, Neil O’Donnel, David Woodley, Todd Blackledge, Tommy Maddox, Mark Malone, Cliff Stoudt, Kordell Stewart and an entire list of others that I can’t be bothered to even remember.

    Calling out Ben for trying to teach rookies and young guys work ethic.

    Have any of you been watching the games? It seems at least 1 defensive player is coming free on every pass attempt. Receivers losing balls in the lights, etc… Ben get’s blamed for fumbling while being mugged and constantly under siege. The two touchdown passes to Antonio Brown, not so coincidentally, had blitz pick-up. Great catches, but equally great throws.

    If we’re calling out Ben, lets also call out Timmons and Clark for some of the worst tackling I’ve seen in a Steeler uniform in years.

    If what Ben is saying is on the spot, it’s good Bell is getting called out. If what he said is generic and not intended to be pointed, it will still light a fire under Bell’s butt. Either consequence is a bonus.

  • HopalongCassidy

    Unless Bell is Superman and can fly over the O-line to make yards, he’ll have the same problem as the other backs…no holes to run through.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    Nobody has a clue about Bell, yet he’s listed as a co-starter. The Steelers talent evaluators listed Redman at the top of the depth chart the entire offseason based on past performances and 2 carries during the preseason. He sucked. How are we supposed to expect anything different from Bell at this point?

  • cencalsteeler

    I totally agree with what you say. It may not be ingrained in Ben to be a leader, but there are things you can do. The Rooney’s have invested millions of dollars in someone to be the franchise qb, to be the face of the Steelers for years to come. I would have mandated leadership classes for him. I know, for some, you might be rolling your eyes, but come on here, this franchise is investing heavily in you. Athletes are having acupuncture, massage therapy (Harrison has two to three a day), training specialist, off season training, etc. I don’t think it would be too much to ask of your leader to implement this leadership training. After all, most of us have on the job training, motivational seminars, etc. in our every day jobs. How is he an exception? The NFL has training classes for rookies coming into the league. How to manage their money, how to address the media, how to handle fame, etc. For the Steelers to implement leadership classes for players who are asked to assume that role, I feel, is not too much to ask. The cerebral part of the game is just as important as the physical aspect, and that is something that is missing, IMO.

  • Joe Longo

    his body language dictates to me he wants out of the burgh!

  • Jeff

    People look really, really, really, really, really far into things when you start 0-3… just comes with the territory….

  • Douglas Kostel Jr.

    Because Bell is more talented than Redman

  • Johnny Loose

    i can’t believe the comments I read from you people. Please go root for Cleveland. They’re 1-2 now!!!! Seriously, most of you guys sound like a bunch of women chatting about Gossip Girl. Pull the terrible towel out of your vagina and start waving it. Ben is doing the best he can with what he has. He has fought for this team since he first stepped on the field and continues to do so. The offense nearly found they’re identity vs. the Bears. This team could have rolled over, but they didn’t. Loved the way they fought. If the line can keep improving every week this team will be just fine. Bell hasn’t even carried the ball this season and I already hear doubts. Seriously? Some of you really should stop calling yourselves Steeler fans. Bunch of spoiled little b!tche$. GO STEELERS

  • blackandgoldBullion

    rolmfao!!!!!

  • ty simpson

    Hopefully you have exhausted your name-calling since it provides evidence that your argument is weak. To say that ben is doing the best he can with what he has after his performance in the last three games particularly in the last game, is shocking non-sense. In addition to the turnovers he committed, are the incomplete passes that could have led to first downs and overthrown passes that could have led to big plays. It is time to treat ben like the big boy he is (there are 12 million reasons a year to do so) rather than the juvenile prima donna that he prefers to be. He has no business calling anyone out.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    I hear that.

  • Virdin Barzey

    Reason number 10, I’m starting to get tired of Ben. Didn’t Tomlin sat with him to discuss him being more of a leader? Seem like this joker went the other direction. Clearly not a leader by his play since he as been awful since the season began. He’s had at least one turnover a game.

    Then he calls a meeting of the older players and the best he could come up with was no more games in the lounge. That’s great leadership Benji. Now, he’s throwing his rookie RB under the bus whom we desperately need. We can say a lot of things about Ben, but he’s not smart at all. I don’t care what he meant, common sense would tell you to not make a statement as such…especially the week he’s coming back.

    Doesn’t surprise me since Ben would love to throw the ball downfield all the time.

  • Aric Brown

    what a joke…. the guy is constantly running for his life and as expected has a couple turnovers… he is clearly the leader of this football team.. if you cant see it maybe its time for you to hop on a different bandwagon my fairweather friend

  • Aric Brown

    ya what is going on with clark I’ve never seen him miss tackles so consistently… timmons has played like this before but I’ve never seen it out of clark

  • RDH

    When any other player on this team has Quarterbacked 3 Super Bowl appearances and been on the winning side of two of them, then you may have a point.

    The Quarterback position is the hardest and most integral position on the entire team.

    Ben has the resume to call anyone on the team out, save Troy. Whether you have some personal vendetta against him is irrelevant.

    I know, I know, we probably could have had the same success with someone else, right? Yeah, keep telling yourself that.

    If you think that any of the these teams over this past decade compare with the over-all talent we had in the 90′s… well, I want some of what you’re smoking.

    The difference, the reason we’ve gone to 3 and won 2, as opposed to going to 1 and losing, is the QB.

    You’re naive to the umpteenth degree to think otherwise.

  • Virdin Barzey

    Nope the only joke is on you. You Ben apologist need to give it a rest. I’m on the Steelers bandwagon since birth and bleed black and gold. I’m not on the Ben bandwagon which you seem to be riding pretty hard. “That’s not our father’s Steelers” according to Ben. LOL.

    See, real Steelers can support the team and be objectively critical of one of our best players when he is playing like crap. You can keep making excuses throwing the o-line, Haley, Tomlin, his parents, his wife, school teacher, Obama, etc. under bus for the team losing but even he knows, he has played like crap.

    As for being a leader, well I guess in your book Polamalu is a leader as well. LOL. BTW, I have both Ben and Pola jerseys but it not because of their leadership….

  • Virdin Barzey

    Well said. I see the exact same things. Obvious some the Ben apologist don’t understand what a real leader is suppose to be but you nailed it. Worse of all, Ben seems to be regressing. Yes, he is getting old but this is suppose to be his prime but as you said, his attitude, focus and overall demeanor isn’t right.
    We were joking the other day that Ben may need to get back to the wild side of living before he got married, without the motorcycles and young girls of course. LOL. I support Ben, and he clearly is our best player on offense and gives us the best chance to win. Despite those two awful tackles, he has got to play better but it first starts with his attitude.

  • RDH

    ROFLMAO (am I as cool as you now?)

    How did you bring Obama into this conversation, Liberals never cease to amaze me.

    Polamalu isn’t a leader? This would explain you being enamored with Obama, leaders talk in your world, eh?

    Leaders walk in my world. You want to see leadership, watch Troy selling out on a inconsequential extra point attempt and block it late in that Chicago game.

    You think our Tackles are playing good eh? The coaching staff and every other pundit that has access to a microphone on TV or radio disagrees with you. Maybe you should school them on their football knowledge.

    It’s my estimation that you think Dwyer is an NFL caliber starting RB as well, am I right? Dude runs hard, I’ll give him that. And he did excellent picking up the blitz. But his vision and running instincts are terrible.

    Congrats on being a Steeler fan for life, I’m sure we’re the only two out there….

    And being a Steeler fan for life in no way means that your football knowledge or lack of it cannot be questioned.

  • Johnny Loose

    When you are constantly running for your life on the football field as a QB, turnovers are going to happen, period. He has every right to call out anyone he wants. Bell is a rookie, so I wouldn’t expect him to fully understand the severity of working hard to even have a shot at being successful in this league. Bell should have a chip on his shoulder and in no way should feel like the job is his regardless of what he does. You either put up or shut up in this league. I’m just as excited to see L. Bell play as anyone on the planet. However, he was not a part of the losing effort in the first three games and has not been a part of the effort basically at all as far as games go. I think Ben’s actions show the kind of competitor he is. If you’re really going to sit here and sharp-shoot the best player on the team, then you are only confirming what I said about most Steeler fans today. You talk about overthrown passes? What about all the drops and lack of great effort leading to circus catches? It happens all the time. Until the offensive line gels and builds some sort of cohesion (which they are, even if slowly) Ben is absolved from the unwarranted criticism of Steeler Nation. You should be so lucky to root for a team like the Steelers. I can’t even take you seriously man.

  • Kareem Daniels

    How about he throws a check down or a flare to a running back before he starts questioning Bell. A simple dump off for a 2 or 3 yard gain instead of a 5-7 yard loss on a sack

  • Virdin Barzey

    Just when I thought the wackos in DC couldn’t say anything or get any worse, then you came along and make this comment. LOL…you think I’m a liberal because I mentioned Obama. Really? So what do you think of me that I mentioned his school teacher? Dude, you may be a Steeler but your kinda slow on the uptake. You may want to stop listening to all those political talk radio.

    I was making fun of all the other complaints people make. What’s even more amazing is that you thought I said the tackles were good. LOL. You’re funny.

    As for leadership, your definition needs to expand. Part of what a leader does is set the example but that alone doesn’t make you a leader….especially in football. You may want to look at Pola interviews where he himself have stated he is not the leader type. Guess you know better than him. LOL. Ever wonder why he was never a team captain with his HOF career?

    That’s the problem with you cuckoo cons, always ready to label someone and making bad assumption like it fact….That was a joke on your liberal comment. My football knowledge, whatever dude. Before you question it, get your facts right. Go Steelers! We can definitely agree on that….that’s more than Congress.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    “That’s just September talk. We’re excited to get some guys healthy and putting in some meaningful minutes in games. We feel our record at this point of the season is not indicative of who this team is and what I know we are capable of doing. Injuries aside because every team has them, we know that our best football has yet to come. You can choose to believe me or not when I say that this team is very excited to be in the position we are currently in and that position is 0 and 3 looking up at the other 3 teams in our division. I say that because if we are truly at rock bottom the only direction to go is back up. We look forward to that climb.”

  • Informed reader

    I think you guys are being too critical. It seems to me Ben was just saying he doesn’t know how healthy Bell really is (nobody does!!!), and he doesn’t know him well enough to really get a handle on what is going on with him. We have been hearing he might play this week all season. It sounds like Bell’s injury is one in which it is tough to predict how long the recovery process will be…there is a lot of variability.

    Ben’s response sounds honest to me, not critical. He knows Heath well, and so will always give him the benefit of the doubt because he has observed him in many situations over the years. He does not have that familiarity with Bell. Ben is not one of these guys that worries a lot about the media and public perception. He is not a Drew Brees or a Peyton Manning who carefully scripts everything he says…he really is more like a regular guy who just answers questions. Yes, his answers sometimes would make a media relations type cringe, but I don’t think there is any bad intent behind any of it. He is required to make himself available to the media, so he does, but it doesn’t seem that is a part of the job he particularly loves. Whatever, I don’t really care about that.

  • ty simpson

    I said this before and i will sat it again. Ben should get credit for winninga 12 a superbowl. His first victory againstseattle he nearly gave away with the worst interception thrown in superbowl history.h also committed a crucial turnover againstgreen bay. He played well againstarizonabut we dont win that game withoutjames harrison who should have been the mvp. 1/2 a superbowl and no leadeship does not impress me. I rather have neil odonnell at least with him i knew he was maximizing his abilities

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