Mike Tomlin Has No Intentions Of Easing Le’Veon Bell Back Into Action Against Rams

The Pittsburgh Steelers get starting running back Le’Veon Bell back this week now that his suspension is over and during his Tuesday press conference, head coach Mike Tomlin made it clear that he’s not going to ease his main ball carrier back into action this coming Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.

“I’m going to play Le’Veon Bell,” said Tomlin.

The Steelers head coach was then asked if he’s decided how much work backup running back DeAngelo Williams will get Sunday with Bell now being back in the lineup. Williams, who started in Bell’s absence, registered 224 yards from scrimmage in the team’s first two games.

“We’ll figure that out as we go, but if 26 [Bell] is available to us, we’re going use him,” said Tomlin.

Tomlin was then asked if he has any concerns about Bell not being hit any since the preseason ended.

“No,” said Tomlin.

During the preseason, Bell rushed for 32 yards on 10 carries and caught three passes for 25 yards. He sat out the preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers, so Sunday will mark nearly one full month since he’s taken a hit.

The Rams defensive front will surely be a test for the Steelers running game this week. While their defense has allowed 306 yards rushing on 69 carries in their first two games of the 2015 season, it should be noted that 123 of them came on 4 plays of which 3 were off left tackle.

The interior portion of the Rams defensive line has played well so far against the run as that unit, which is led by defensive tackles Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers, has surrendered just 2.76 yards per carry on 33 runs between the guards.

  • 123 yards on 4 plays, 3 off LT, huh? Georgia Counter anyone?

  • PittsburghSports

    Nice. My fantasy team thanks you.

  • Todd that dude!

    Man, it’s going to be nice to have Leveon back. I know the Rams have a good D line, but if we manage to keep the pressure low and give Ben time to throw like we did last week, I can’t help but think that AB will have another monster game, because I don’t see the Rams secondary stopping him.

  • VIPSteel

    There’s no real reason to do so. It would be different if he was coming off of an injury or something, but he played like 3 weeks ago. Probably won’t be in midsession form, but he’s ready.

  • T R

    To the left to the left… oh Georgia

  • NCSteel

    I am always wary of a team thats just been embarassed the week before, especially a good one but I’m guessing Bell is just chomping at the bit to put that whole Bell/Blount thing behind him once and for all. Tomlin is right, you’ve got a sports car, drive it ! Run! run like your hairs on fire brother.

  • Hypo Cycloid

    Nor should he. A great pass rushing team the Rams are, and Bell is the perfect back to combat this. He has excellent blocking skills and excellent hands for the dump offs. Hope Bell is fully charged and ready to go.

  • theprideofpit

    I heard this kid is good.

  • NCSteel

    He’s got a little wiggle.
    He’s no Dri Archer, I’ll tell you that.

  • theprideofpit

    What kind of fool would I have to be to imagine he could ever hold a light to the great and prototypical. Dreeeeeee

  • NinjaMountie

    Looking forward to getting Bell back in the fold. He brings so much to the field. The Rams are certainly a test to get his feet wet again. Steelers need to not have a let down after last week and do away with the early penalties that killed their first drive. I’m ready for another 500 yd and 6 TD game from Ben. 🙂

    With the way we failed to handle NE’s quickster WRs…I’m a little worried about Tavon Austin this week.

  • Eh, who is Edelmann without Brady throwing him the ball? Nick Foles is ok but he’s not Brady. Not very many teams strategize like Belichek and utilize the quick pass like they do. Heck, they built an entire offense around it. The Rams on the other hand just lost to a woeful Redskins.

    I’m not overlooking this Rams teams, they might have the best defense in the NFL, but their offense is young and inexperienced.

  • NinjaMountie

    Heh!!! You have to let me worry about something!! lol
    I don’t do well if I’m not attempting to find something to worry about. I feel like the Steelers have lost every game I’ve ever been totally comfortable they would win.

  • Very low expectations, come on have a little pride man. This team is gelling, no reason to hang your head.

  • NinjaMountie

    I think you are failing to recognize to humor. Also, it’s not low expectations to point out a weapon on the other team lol.

  • steelster

    Or you could be rooting for a former WVU player. Makes sense.

  • 1 weapon out of a possible 2, that’s even if Gurley plays which I doubt. Britt is the next closest to being a weapon but he isn’t what he was 6-7 years ago. Their offense doesn’t scare me at all, that D line on the other hand…

  • NinjaMountie

    yup, that DL is worrisome, no doubt. This will be a good test for our Oline.

  • NinjaMountie

    You caught me. Though, they have both of WVUs dynamic duo, lol. They’ve both kinda went dud there. I’m hoping they continue the trend next week.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Any reason why the Steelers would’t try some split back sets given that we have seen how effective Williams can be?

  • steelster

    Because bell is a all pro.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Yeah, can you say no brainer?
    The numbers are the numbers, so that’s like saying that Geno Smith is a superstar QB as long as he doesn’t drop back to pass!
    Last time I looked, running off LT (or right DE from that perspective) is an option in the running game!
    I can think of no match up I might feel more comfy with than a tough DL against our equally tough OL!

  • Phil Brenneman II

    I am not sure what that means in response to my question….

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    But its also an intriguing option, no?

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Must’ve nice to win your FF draft lottery? I was stuck down at #10.

  • Planet Dearth

    PPR League. Ended up with Odell Beckham, Julio Jones and Larry Fitzgerald. Destroying people after 2 weeks. Sadly I have no running backs now. DeAngelo Williams was my top guy.

  • Louis Goetz

    Has he been effective? Yes. Has he been consistent? No. Against the Patriots, he averaged a full eight yards per carry on the Steelers’ side of the 50. He dropped to below five ypc on the Patriots’ side of the field, and then less than 4 ypc in the red zone. Against the 49ers he carried the ball 13 times for 33 yards in the first three quarters (2.54 ypc). 11 of his first 13 carries were for three yards or less. Yes, he did scores two TDs in the second quarter (two yards each), but he didn’t get them there; Ben & Co. did (and he’s supposed to be able to get two yards). Then, he blew up in the 4th quarter, rushing seven times for 44 yards (6.29 ypc) and another TD. And not only that, but he rushed for seven and 10 yards on the plays immediately preceding the Steelers’ last two TDs. So, there’s no question he’s been effective … at times. What I think you get from 26 – that you don’t get from 34 – is not only improved productivity and effectiveness, but consistency, as well. Also, Bell gives the Steelers options that Williams doesn’t (e.g. catching the ball) and doesn’t typically experience the lows that come with 34’s highs.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Nice stats but 2 games don’t tell a guys career and once again, I am not sure how it applies to my question. You guys seem to be getting the impression that I want them to split carries. I asked why we can’t have a split backfield. As in Ben under center with the 2 RB’s split behind him. Forces defenses to focus on 2 threats instead of 1.

  • NW86

    Me either – obviously he would still be on the field.

    They probably won’t do it too often because they like to get 3 WR and Heath on the field too, but I’d like to see them use that a handful of times per game and split the carries evenly out of that set.

  • The GreekGeek

    Nice breakdown, but Bell has games like that too. He can be bottled up for a quarter or a half and then break one off for 50. That is how the great backs get even. Williams has looked great through two weeks. He has not made plays every time but he has produced first downs and touch downs and has earned the right to a handful of carries a game going forward.

    i would like to see a 2 RB set, but I have a feeling they won’t change their offensive game plan. Just substitute at times.

  • PittsburghSports


  • Louis Goetz

    I was trying to explain why, in my opinion and from an analytical perspective, Bell’s the far superior RB, and therefore, ought to be the workhorse. As for putting them both in the backfield at the same time, to do so would require not only taking some other weapon off the field (83, 10 or 11), but turning the RB who doesn’t get the ball into either a FB or a spectator, and I don’t think either would excel in that role. It would dilute the offense. As it stands now, the defense has to focus on 3 major threats in AB, Bell and Bryant when Ben walks up to the line, and then two other threats in Miller and Wheaton who can make you pay if you don’t respect them. I don’t think what 34 brings to the table is more valuable than what 83 and 11 bring.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Nobody is arguing Bell shouldn’t be the workhorse so again, I am not sure why you would go in that direction.

    And taking one weapon off the field for a potentially equally valuable weapon isn’t a bad trade off. In fact there is a positive in it that it keeps the defense guessing and unsure. So it doesn’t really dilute anything. Especially since Bell is a big threat to catch the ball out of the backfield as well. I am not saying we should do it all of the time or completely change philosophy to work it in but it would be interesting to see a few snaps a game.