Tomlin On Bell 11th-Hour Contract Talks: ‘I’m Watching With Keen Interest’

The Pittsburgh Steelers will report to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe in less than two weeks and as is usually the case at this time of the offseason, head coach Mike Tomlin is currently back home in Virginia taking part in his annual football camp in addition to showing his support for the Hampton Roads Youth Foundation.

Bruce Rader of WAVY-TV had his usual one-on-one interview with Tomlin on Friday and he asked the Steelers head coach about the current contract situation with running back Le’Veon Bell being as the league deadline for signing him to a long-term contract is Monday. Specifically, Rader asked Tomlin if he believes Bell will be in training camp on time this year.

“I’m optimistic,” Tomlin said. “As you said, the deadline is Monday and he may even be in camp with a long-term deal. We’ll see how the weekend unfolds. I don’t have direct involvement in some of those things, but obviously I’m watching with keen interest.”

That’s the expected response from Tomlin concerning Bell and like the rest of us, he’ll now sit and wait to see if an 11th-hour deal can be consummated between the running back and the team. Regardless of the outcome on Bell’s situation, Tomlin admitted that there’s a lot of optimism surrounding his 2017 team just ahead of training camp getting underway.

“There is,” Tomlin said. “We’ve got talent, but more importantly, we’ve got a nice blend of experience and inexperience and the older guys that have been around, they’re doing a great job of educating the younger guys. And that’s what it’s about. The younger guys are working hard and learning those lessons and I look forward to going to camp with them.”

All optimism aside, Tomlin predictably admitted that there’s just one acceptable outcome to the Steelers 2017 season and that’s a Super Bowl championship.

“There’s only one escape hatch on this next season that’s going to be a good one for us and that’s what our focus is,” Tomlin said.

You can watch Tomlin’s full interview with Rader below.