On The Bright Side, Le’Veon Bell Is Back

If you are looking for some sort of positive take from the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 34-3 defeat at the hands of the Eagles yesterday, then I am afraid that you have come to the wrong place. Except in this, and that is that this is the last game in which the team will have to play without All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell, whose three-game suspension is now over, and he will be eligible to participate in the team’s next game.

Make no mistake, of course; the Steelers were in no way deficient at the running back position in the hands of DeAngelo Williams, who through the first two weeks of the season led the league in rushing yards, and still leads the team with three total touchdowns scored: two on the ground and one through the air.

But after such a desolate offensive output from the team, the injection of a unique talent such as Le’Veon Bell can only prove to be an asset. Williams can do just about anything that you can ask of any average running back around the league, and he can do it better than they can. But there are some things that only Bell is capable of doing from the running back position, and his rare skill set, as well as the proficiency with which he utilizes it, separates him from virtually everybody else in the game.

Few, for example, have Bell’s combination of patience, vision, and short-area quickness, which he is capable of using to compensate for a struggling offensive line performance, which was certainly the case yesterday, even before Ramon Foster was forced to leave the game late in the first half. Due to the struggles, Williams totaled just 21 rushing yards on eight attempts, and is now under four yards per carry on the season.

Last season, when Bell returned from suspension and Ben Roethlisberger was injured, he was able to carry the offense with his excellent rushing performances, even while the quarterback play, and thus his impact in the receiving game, suffered as a result. This time, he will have the luxury of Roethlisberger under center, which will make him all the more a dynamic threat that we did not get the opportunity to see much in 2015.

It will, hopefully, be a tool to help the Steelers get out of certain funks, as the one that they found themselves in yesterday. Bell’s ability to turn a dump-off pass into an explosive play with his dynamic cuts that send defenders sprawling is a rare quality that requires both discipline and athletic excellence.

No doubt there is nobody more eager to see Bell back on the field than himself, as he has certainly gone through a lot since he was last in a meaningful game. He tore knee ligaments during a midseason game last year in his sixth game back from suspension, and he has since then gone through a long rehab process, another suspension, and plenty of media scrutiny. But now, as he Tweeted, ‘the Juice is loose’, and he can let his play do the talking—a voice the Steelers’ offense would very much like to hear after such as dismal showing.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • CP72

    This is the only thing that kept me from doing a Tommen Baratheon yesterday.

  • T3xassteelers

    YEAHHHH BUDDY! Get hyped!!!

  • WilliamSekinger

    lol. Nice!

  • dany

    Basically the #1 RB and #2 WR is back, that’s some amazing news for a just humbled team

  • vasteeler

    Back for how long?? until he has thc cravings again?? Im sorry but not sorry he and martavis are a part of the problem, i agree with ed bouchette, he most certainly will not be apart of the steelers organization next year, so might as well run him into the ground this year, and thats IF he can even stay healthy!

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Hope he has a better debut than Dropkus Wheaton.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I love Bell but the way Williams has played whenever he has not been in has been just as good. This seems to be a horizontal type change in the lineup with just a small edge to Bell.

  • Ken

    disagree on that one. Bell’s receiving skills are going to be such a huge plus to this team.

  • Matthew Brown

    I feel like most people forget just how good Le’veon is… And by the way I’d be shocked if he ISN’T on the roster next year.

  • NinjaMountie

    The sad thing is that the problems aren’t at the RB position. The problem is the defense and our QB.

  • Matthew Brown

    Leveon would be a better number 2 wide out than Wheaton at this point

  • Matthew Brown

    Our QB?? What is wrong with our QB?

  • NinjaMountie

    He’s playing pretty poorly.

  • Matthew Brown

    Really? Should we trade Ben?? I mean I’d LOVE to get rid of one of the best QBs in the game! I’m giddy at the thought of it.

  • Matthew Brown

    Obviously seeing the browns struggles at QB hasn’t helped you realize you don’t just get a new QB its not that easy. Getting a Franchise QB is sorta like hitting the lotto

  • NinjaMountie

    Really!!! Are you seriously taking my comment to mean we should get rid of Ben? Are you just looking for a reason to try and start something with someone because that’s the only reason I can see for that response.
    I said he’s playing poorly. He is. FACT. Anyone that watched the game and the last has to admit this. Deal.

  • Matthew Brown

    He destroyed the redskins. It was pooring in the cincy game and bottomline we got the win he threw three TDs in the cincy game STILL and we came out a laid an eggvin the eagles game and suddenly Ben is regressing????

  • NinjaMountie

    Whatever. This conversation isn’t going to go anywhere when your initial response is that I’m suggesting getting rid of Ben and then you follow it up with excuses for his absolutely poor play.
    Great players can play poorly. They aren’t perfect. He needs to pick up his level of play because he’s a huge part of the reason the Cincy game was so close and an even bigger part of the reason for the ineptitude of the offense last game.
    To be clear, NO, I don’t want to get rid of him. I think he’s a great QB. I am saying he needs to start being that great QB for us to win.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    You’re right when you say this does nothing to help with week three’s complete destruction.

  • Matthew Brown

    A win is a win bro did he get the TD when we needed it in cincy? 1 loss and you think the sky is falling. And if our receivers like Wheaton would catch passes in the end zone hitting him in the gut that Philly game would be different, we lost all our momentum on that one drive we drove down field and laid an egg can’t always blame been you win and lose as a team.

  • NinjaMountie

    Now I’m panicking!!?? What did I say to indicate that I’m panicking? LOL
    You really infer a lot from comments…and infer poorly.
    Okay, is this shane? Did you get a new name?
    For the record, as I don’t remember seeing you on here much, I’m one of the more upbeat people on here. Slow to react to wins or losses.
    That being said, I haven’t been sold on this defense all season.

  • T R

    but what scares be about his receiving skills is when a someone comes and hits him low after the catch..

  • T R

    he has been playing very badly. over throws and missing wide open receivers.

  • Matthew Brown

    I don’t think anyone can be sold on a defense with one sack. For the record just cause I haven’t been on here before does not make me any less a steelers fan I know plenty of steelers fans that don’t know this site.

  • NinjaMountie

    haah…wow..I never inferred you were less of a Steelers fan, only that you haven’t been on here enough to know me. smh

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Starting to think we should run more and more play action. This offensive line may more suited to run the ball and lower Ben’s pass attempts.

  • NinjaMountie

    Yup, that worries me with everyone now days. What else can a defender do? I got worried last game when J James got submarined after a catch. He popped right up, though….was a good catch.

  • NinjaMountie

    I think, and have been saying, that Ben is getting hooked on the deep ball. I love it, too. He’s been overlooking a lot of open guys across the middle though. Also seems to be looking to AB too exclusively as well. Hard to blame him on that as it’s…you know…AB.

  • T R

    yep… so unfortunately I am glad we have D Williams cause.. and Bell is a big target to hit low too.. D Williams is a lot harder to hit low being smaller.

  • Matthew Brown

    I’m not saying you did call me less of a steelers fan… Just stating a fact. Chill. Wait am inferring you aren’t chill?! I apologize

  • NinjaMountie

    Yup, Bell is a taller guy and a little more of an upright runner. He does invite it a bit.

  • T R

    Lets get back on track with the discussion at hand fellas

  • T R

    and it show don’t help we he killing u too. that makes folks more amp to say lets get him outta here.. undercover bounty gates.

  • NinjaMountie

    welp, now you know me. So, we’ll start over from here. Go Steelers.

  • Matthew Brown

    Its just 1 game it may have been the worst game I ever saw…. But it only counts as 1 loss.

  • Matthew Brown

    Lol go steelers man

  • T R

    yeah at training camps that the highlight of the camp is him throw balls from long distance to hit the goal post or drop in buckets.. u can hear pin drops then crowd roars when he hit it or drops bucket.

  • NinjaMountie

    That is a fact. It was horrible. I’m hoping it was just one of “those” games. The Eagles picked the perfect scheme to run against us and we were just unprepared and nothing went our way. Could be a totally different outcome should we meet in the SB.

  • Matthew Brown

    Not gonna lie held back some throw up watching it. Lol but hey if we are relatively healthy were still a competitive team. Shaziers MCL that’s kinda scary however.

  • NinjaMountie

    Remember those Braves baseball commercials. Chicks dig the long ball. Well, so do football fans, lol.

  • T R

    well a friend of mine from philly ask me was I coming to the game since I go to philly a lot.. I said heck nah.. this game scares me.. boy ole boy.. imagine being deck out in steelers gear and walking out there.. they are not the most graceful winners or losers in philly. LOL

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    That may be because of Wheaton’s drops. Ben tends to go away from you if you drop passes. Idk… I like the Deep ball from Ben, especially now, but before I felt it made him lazy when Wallace was here. Imo. The years before Bryant made his in between throws waaaaaay better and then his deep ball became undeniably good! Just gotta work some things out, but we should run it more now because i think we can do that better than anyone.

  • NinjaMountie

    I went to one game in Philly when I was in my 20s. Never, ever again. I actually was scared and I went to Cleveland a lot for games back then. Cleveland you can actually sit and talk to their fans….Philly fans aren’t like that.

  • T R

    that lost hurts. but the injuries is what I am most concerned about now.. we lost what
    2 – ILB
    and only getting back Bell.. good grief..
    1- WR
    1- Tackle
    and only getting back Bell.. good grief..

  • NinjaMountie

    You’re right. Wheaton didn’t do him any favors. I agree that running effectively will open things up and you’re right, we’re setup to be one of the best in that regards. Just need to mix it up. I’m worried about next weeks games because I feel KC is another bad matchup for us, but after that we should get back on track.

  • NinjaMountie

    Any news on Rogers? I’ve liked him better than Wheaton since preseason and Wheaton didn’t convince me any differently yesterday.

  • Matthew Brown

    I haven’t seen anything. but seeing him fall flat on his face mid route was concerning.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    We should run it down their throats, honesty. Teams don’t want AB to beat us so they will focus on him.

  • PaeperCup

    YES!!!!! Finally we’ll see a pass rush! He’s a LB right?

  • Steelers12

    i was saying this during yesterday blowout

  • Brantley Stockton

    I disagree

  • Mark

    I’m not ready to get excited about his return until we see how he handles get hit in the legs. Don’t forget, he is returning from a season ending knee injury and is largely unproven at full speed.

  • Mark

    No they are not. The people of Filth-a-delphia are atrocious.

  • Scott N.

    Agree 100%. He’s had a history of this. When he buys into the system and takes what the defense gives him, he’s almost unstoppable. Funny thing is, opposing offenses do that to the Steelers defense all the time. Seems like Ben would understand that.

  • Scott N.

    I don’t know, Steelers offense seems to always struggle against the Eagles’ D.

  • Ken

    yeah, but everyone is in danger every play…

  • disqus_mR1jByxt01

    Ben did not get much protection in that game. That is what I saw.

  • J.

    Ed is off his rocker and so are you. Bell will be a Steeler next season.

  • vasteeler

    you think the rooney’s are going to pay $20-30 mil guaranteed to a guy that has never stayed healthy and cant stop smoking pot??? are you high?? the only way he’s back next year is under the franchise tag, now i definitely see that happening but in no way will they even offer him a long term deal until he proves at least for a year that he can stay healthy and off the marijuana