Mike Tomlin Thinks Le’Veon Bell Can Give The Steelers Running Game A Shot In The Arm

If all goes well this week in practice, Pittsburgh Steelers rookie running back Le’Veon Bell will make his NFL regular-season debut Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London against the Minnesota Vikings. Head coach Mike Tomlin addressed Bell’s situation Tuesday in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

“Were excited also about getting Le’Veon Bell back this week,” said Tomlin. “He’s expected to be a full practice participant this week and play. We’re looking forward to that and we think he can provide us a shot in the arm as well.”

Bell hasn’t played since spraining his foot in the second preseason game against the Washington Redskins, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Tomlin will just ease him back into action against the Vikings.

“Hey, I’m not going to put him in a uniform to stand by me,” Tomlin said when asked about what Bell’s workload Sunday could potentially be against the Vikings.

Despite the Steelers having only rushed for an all-time franchise low 155 yards through their first three games of the 2013 season, Tomlin did say he was encouraged by how they ran the ball Sunday night in the 40-23 loss to the Chicago Bears.

“I think we had the makings of a good run performance the other night, to be quite honest with you,” Tomlin said. “It’s just that the game got out of control because we turned the ball over and spotted them a number of points.

“But we were running consistently, we were clicking on first and ten and over four yards a carry. I liked the contributions of Felix Jones, I thought Jonathan Dwyer came in and provided a spark for us. We’ll continue to utilize those guys.”

On the latest depth chart released Tuesday by the team, Felix Jones is listed as the co-starter alongside Bell. Jonathan Dwyer is listed next with Isaac Redman bringing up the rear. With Bell now expected to play Sunday, there’s a good chance that Redman could be inactive against the Vikings if the decision to only dress three running backs is made.

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  • steeltown

    Once Miller is fully acclimated I would assume they’ll release Palmer…then what? I assume they will then sign a TE to the practice squad, but who gets Palmers spot on the 53man, what position do they fortify?

  • NW86

    I’ve been thinking about that, and I don’t see an obvious need right now. Maybe there is some young guy out there on a practice squad somewhere that they’d like to claim for the future. OR, maybe they just hang onto Palmer for a few more weeks until Spaeth or Spence are ready to move to the active roster.

  • Bilgewater D

    You need to remember that Spaeth is hopefully coming back this season. You have to have a spot for him as well.

  • steeltown

    Yea but that’s 4-5weeks from now

  • Eric

    Just from the perspective of addressing weaknesses, I would not mind adding another O-lineman to the team.

  • NW86

    And when I say “no obvious need”, I’m referring to deep depth players. Obviously, they could use a starting caliber OL, but those are not sitting around on the street.

  • steeltown

    That’s a thought, but we already only activate 7OL on game day, that would mean we would possibly have two OL inactive

  • steeltown

    Yea but once Spaeth is ready to return (100%) they’ll be releasing another TE (most likely D.Johnson) lets not forget the only reason we have DJ and Palmer is because Miller and Spaeth were out

    Hmmmm…

  • Eric

    I think we will release Paulson before DJ, because DJ can be a backup FB.

  • steeltown

    That would be my move as well.. but im not sure the coaching staff sees it that way

  • Eric

    I do not know any position or position group on either side of the ball that is weaker the our O-Line. My 2nd choice is CB, but not with Tez returning for game 5. Who/what do you think we should add?

  • MoSteel79

    Spence! Slow down you are getting me all hopeful about the remainder of the season and that’s not fair!

  • Steve

    Bell will only do as well as the O-line makes the holes. He is not a miracle worker.

  • cencalsteeler

    I agree. DJ can play multiple positions, is a better blocker, and proved he can catch a ball or two as well. Last weeks performance had to have leapfrogged him above Paulson. Paulson does not impress me at all.

  • Bilgewater D

    Yeah, but he proved he can run behind a crappy line at M state

  • alex

    and he can block and he has the full support of the team, which needs cohesion right now!

  • alex

    #1 hold on to the rock

    #2 find a gap and hit it

    #3 block somebody

    #4 enjoy, cause this is why we chose you

  • Bob Graff

    MSU doesn’t play in the NFL

  • Bob Graff

    the key words to this article are ‘Mike Tomlin thinks” my answer is. Oh really. Hasn’t he already thought up a bunch of stuff. My favorite being Isaac Redman IS going to contribute in a big way, like he always has. Again , Oh really

  • Bob Graff

    As far as the TE spot goes the Steelers are burning way too many roster spots already. Why??? I mean they have as many TE’s as they do o-lineman once again poor team management.

  • Scott Harding

    I can’t even listen to Tomlin talk right now. He reminds me so much of John Gruden – no doubt a mentor of his. Militant approach w/ lots of flashy words and phrases (maybe ill refer to this as splash-terms) that entertain people but the message softens quickly and coaching pedigree, or lack of, gets exposed. People want Haley’s head. Perhaps justifiably so. But Haley is not the big-picture problem. A tired message and poor decisions with personnel, staff hiring, on-field choices, and no doubt draft influence must be the standard that Mike is always referring to.

  • Bob Graff

    Again really???? how is M. Spaeth going to turn turn this thing around. How? He has zero reps with the offense, They are working miller in, does the addition of Spaeth really mean that much? The answer is , He’s really not going to help that much if at all. take a weapon off the field bring a blocking in. There are so many holes in this dike the dutch boy has no chance.

  • steeltown

    Im not sure.. at the moment I could see CB, but we have Isaiah Green on roster so once Cortez is back that’s 6CBs and 5Safeties (11 DBs) I could see maybe Justin Brown being that he can return kicks or maybe Alan Baxter, its not unheard of that we carry 5OLBs… I really don’t know…. maybe they just stick with 4TEs till Spaeth returns being that Paulson and Palmer are decent special teamers