Roethlisberger On Bell: ‘You Can’t Simulate Football Shape On Your Own’

A few days ago, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said he wanted running back Le’Veon Bell to sign his franchise tag tender and report to training camp yesterday and that’s certainly understandable. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, however, is a little bit more understanding when it comes to Bell’s situation.

“Yes and no,” Roethlisberger said during an interview on 93.7 The Fan when asked if he’s worried about Bell not yet reporting to the team. “I mean, yes, because he’s one of the best backs and weapons that you could have and the team needs and this and that. And then, no, in a sense that we have to focus on what we have here.

“We’ve got enough young guys that I’ve got to work with and worry about and learn about and all these things, and working with the line and even working with A.B [Antonio Brown]. A.B. and I are trying to get better every day. So, while I’m out at practice, I can’t sit there and worry about what Le’Veon’s doing. Would I like him out there? Absolutely, but I need to worry about myself and getting our guys ready.”

While Roethlisberger doesn’t sound overly concerned just yet about Bell being a very late arrival this year, he does think that the running back needs to allow himself some time before the regular season gets underway to get himself back into football shape.

“Like I said, people asked me earlier about was I worried about his conditioning and I know he’s a very, very physical back, a guy that’s always in great shape and he’s probably working his butt off right now,” Roethlisberger started. “But, so is Martavis [Bryant]. I know it for a fact and Martavis was sucking wind yesterday and he knows it and he laughed about it and he goes, ‘Man, this football thing is different.’ Even when he [Bell] comes back, there’s still a transition, a little bit of a curve of getting in football shape. You can’t simulate football shape on your own.”

Another aspect that Roethlisberger sees potentially as an issue for Bell should he stay away much longer is him needing enough time to get up to speed with the changes of the offense.

“There’s some new things. We’re doing some new things this year that there is an element that I can’t really divulge too much,” Roethlisberger explained about the offense. “But there is an element of the offense that is a big deal that he will need to catch up on pretty quick. I think he’ll be able to, but there is some new stuff. This year is a bigger year than normal. Typically, there’s a handful of things here and there, but this year it is a little bit bigger.”

Being as Bell is essentially holding out and not suspended like he was the last two years, Roethlisberger knows that the team is likely able to get him a copy of the playbook and inform him of any other changes he needs to study up on.

“I guess so and maybe Coach Sax [James Saxon], our running back coach, is doing that,” Roethlisberger said. “I’m not sure. Like I said, I haven’t heard from him so I can’t send him stuff.”

Roethlisberger admitted again that he’s tried to text Bell twice over the course of the last few weeks but hasn’t heard back from the running back outside of him replying to a group text that was sent to him.

“I don’t know if he thought I was going to try to encourage him to come and this and that and the other. I just wanted to reach out to check on him – what can I do to help,” Roethlisberger said about his personal unanswered text to Bell.

For now, all we can do is to continue to wait and see when Bell decides to report for action. Ideally, that will happen almost immediately after the Steelers second preseason game Sunday night against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Steelers annual tune-up preseason game will take place 11 days from today and it would be nice to have Bell receive some very limited action in that contest. At worst, hopefully he reports before the team’s final preseason game in order to allow himself enough time to not only get himself back into football shape, but up to speed with the offensive changes as well.

  • Ichabod

    Its time he removes his rectal neck tie and join his teammates!

  • VaDave

    Another player that didn’t return Ben’s text… should be good for a few more articles….. Bell will be fine, so will Bryant.

  • Jaybird

    A lot of fans say that Tomlin should run Bell into the ground , then let him walk next year. Well if Bell shows up at the end of camp , he won’t be playing a whole lot in the beginning of the season plus he saved himself a lot of wear and tear in the preseason. As long as he shows up right before the start of the season, I guess he gets his full 12 million , minus the wear and tear of camp. Smart move by Bell?
    It’s a shame becuase I think this team is special this year. I’d love to see them with all pistons firing.

  • Steel Your Face

    I get that he doesn’t need or want the touches in preseason games but I believe there’s something of value in terms of camaraderie and team building. Resentment will build by the day, in and out of the locker room, teammates will grow tired of said question, in my opinion.

  • JNick

    Smart move or not he made his decision. I don’t think it’s gonna work out for him. He’s likely going into the year not fully prepared for it. He risks the chance of injury and not being up to speed. That’s the reality of the choice he made.

  • Didi makes me Euphorius (J.C.)

    Have a sneaking feeling that he doesn’t come back next year. Holding out, even when on the tag, never works out well for the player in the Steelers organization.

  • Zarbor

    I’ve lost a lot of respect for LeVeon. Was more than willing to overlook the stupid suspensions he brought on himself. Yup, even though he turn down the contract, wasn’t mad since its his risk. But this not showing up to camp and practicing with the team? I’m done with this fool.

    If he plays well and does well for us as he did in the past that may be cool for some but it wouldn’t change a thing for me now. Nothing worse than selfish guys in a team sport. Don’t like ’em and don’t want them. Go play golf or tennis if you want it to be all about you. Steeler Nation get prepared to get off sipping that “Juice.”

    He doesn’t want to be here. Its very clear now. Glad I did not buy his Jersey.

  • Jaybird

    I agree . I think it was not smart turning down a pretty good contract offer from the Steelers in the first place.

  • Jaybird

    I got a feeling that Matthew M will be doing a ” grass isn’t always greener on the the other side ” segment on Bell in about 5 or six years.

  • Flip Fisher

    Odd how people are freaked out about Bell, but are OK with Conner being hurt and only in four practices. Believe all unpadded. You know what, Bell will come in next Monday and be around 8 practices behind Conner. Just ridiculous.

  • RickM

    I agree that if he shows up late they will likely be forced to ease him into contact and spell him a lot in the first game. I can’t believe that Bell will wait that long, but anything is possible.

  • Rocksolid20

    Wake up Flip , this team isn’t dependent on Conner , like they were Bell.
    Backup could have been anyone . It’s Bell they need to make a run at #7.

  • Nolrog

    I worry that the longer he holds out, the more risk that he’s going to get injured. That seems to happen a lot with guys that hold out.

  • Nolrog

    I am not sure how those two things are in any way, shape, or form comparable.

  • AndyR34

    Except that Bell won’t be returning.

  • AndyR34

    Nobody has accused Bell of being a Rhodes scholar. And it is clear that he has an inflated view of himself. That said…he is not a Steeler now…no sense spending too much time on him. He is no more important to me right now than Adian Peterson or LeSean McCoy.

  • AndyR34

    If he signs his tag and plays well, I will cheer for him. But…on virtually every other point I am in agreement. I have said it before…heis dead to me.

  • PaeperCup

    He’s only hurting himself.

    Watch him come in late, be behind the learning curve, have a slow start to the season, and in the end a lackluster season. Resulting in a long term deal or other deal being lower than the one offered.

  • Steeler-Drew

    Agree. I don’t think locker room harmony can be underestimated. I’m sure there are going to be at least some players with some hard feelings since they just busted their butt and risked injury themselves. I really think he is setting himself up for some bad karma if he is a no show next week. My other issue is the selfishness of not being there for changes in the playbook. Why should he penalize the team for not being up to speed when he would have been treated with kid gloves anyway. If he is a no show next week it will really show how much he cares about his teammates and how much he only cares about himself.

  • RickM

    After all is said and done, Bell is going to be paid $12.2 M. He’s not in camp despite the big payday. Connor is being paid $641,000 and he’s in camp. What difference does it make if was hurt and missed a few practices and a game. What a strange comparison.

  • Steel Your Face

    Here, here…

  • Alan Tman

    This all is very overblown, and it’s sad. Joey Bosa held out, and never played in the NFL. We all know what happened with him. He balled out. People are upset because Bell is trying to get paid in his one and only contract. I don’t think anyone should worry about another man’s money, because I wouldn’t want people in my negotiations. Plus Ben said Le’Veon needs the practice to be in football shape, but Coates is fine. That shows it was simply done to put pressure on Bell by the fanbase for him to come to camp. This will blowover when he returns.

  • Nolrog

    This has absolutely nothing to do with the money. The money he will get this year is set in concrete and fully cured. There is no changing at this point. He is going to get a 1 year, 12.120 million dollar deal. Whether he signs it now and shows up today, or sings it next week or signs it the day before the week 1 game.

    The long term deal is off the table, as per NFL rules.

  • Steeler Fanatic

    I would pound him with 35 carries that first game. Wear him out. His agent is a moron. I am calling it now- he is hurt by week 5.

  • Alan Tman

    Oh BTW, not coming to camp has nothing to do with getting injured because he will be in shape. I think 20 people who came to camp are injured. People are looking for a reason to get on Bell, because he rejected their offer.

  • Alan Tman

    It’s all about both sides not agreeing on a long term contract.

  • PaeperCup

    As mentioned in Ben’s comments and Tomlins comments, and those here, it’s not about being in shape. There is no doubt he is keeping in shape, he’s a beast. But the offense is trying to work together, learn together, mesh together. Come season opener, you don’t want to be out of sync with your team, and especially your QB.

    I’m interested in the new concepts they are learning. It would be a shame for the team to have to run a vanilla offense just to accommodate BEll.

  • Alan Tman

    So you are telling me that if they had 30 running plays and added 7 plays. So he comes back and learns 3 of those plays the offense is vanilla because it’s missing 4 plays that they can run when he gets a breather?

  • PaeperCup

    sure.

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    Hines Ward.

  • pittfan

    My guess, (and we can only guess at this point) is they are planning more hurry up, up tempo offense. With the horses we have, I sure would. The time of that requires on field reps with 1st O.

  • dany

    He didn’t have copies of the playbook at times last year? I’d a tad less worried if so

    So if Bell reverts from an elite RB to an above avg one and Martavis is back, at least that’s still a better arsenal than last year

  • DoctorNoah

    Yep.

  • DoctorNoah

    If Bell came to camp and gets injured, he gets 12M.

    If Bell stubs his toe in the gym in Florida and can’t play, he gets zero dollars and zero cents.

    He’s a great running back and as good a checkdown receiver as there is. The life expectancy of an RB in the NFL is so low he had to have been a complete moron to hold out for 10% or 15% of the contract value.

    Not sure what his agent is telling him. He’s been suspended, hurt multiple times, and basically acted like a knucklehead.

    Just plain arrogance, when maybe 2-3% of all NFL athletes make in a career what he was slated to get in guaranteed money. I have zero sympathy for his plight. Should he get injured and lose it all, I wouldn’t shed a tear or bat an eye. We would get by with a Connor and Davis and an arsenal of WR. Teams have won superbowls with far worse.

  • Brantley Stockton

    Feelings were hurt.

    Reparations must be made!!!

  • Alan Tman

    Brantley!!

  • Kick

    He has every right to make decisions about his future. In 25 years when he is hobbled from his violent career how many of his teammates are going to pay his bills? He has every right as a free man to decide his future, you can’t criticize a man for the direction he chooses in life when it comes to his financial security. I think he is making a mistake but by god I agree with his right to do it.

  • Me and others have said these very things repeatedly with regards to the importance of Bell being in camp now [if not sooner]–e.g., the points that Ben makes here with unarguable logic re Martavius “sucking for wind” despite his superlative non-football conditioning and the “new elements” of the offense that Ben says are a “big deal” and “bigger” than most years–and yet some consistently repeat their ‘no problemo’ mantra…that Bell can slide in whenever it suits him and it’ll all be okay. My point all along is that whatever it is, it won’t be as good as it could have been…and that, in my opinion as a fan, is definitely not ‘okay.’

  • Douglas Andrews

    I agree with you Alan. It’s almost like fans think every player should take a hometown discount or sign a fan friendly contract or else their name is mud. I don’t blame Bell for trying to get paid. My belief is that Bell’s value is right around the Tender possibly 13 million. I wouldn’t sign him for 15mill but i’m smart enough to know that there’s plenty of NFL teams that will. Maybe Bell is leveraging himself for his future in 18. I’m not sure how much the Franchise Tag for RB’s will be for next season but I’ve heard it may be close to 15 million so if the Steelers franchise him again he’ll get around 27 million for 2 years worth of work. I have no problem with it what so ever. But to hear all the comments that Bells not smart…he’s overvaluing himself…he’ll just come in and get injured..it really makes you wonder.

  • Hawkeye

    Yeah…. Hines didn’t hold out while being tagged. Also, unlike Bell, he was coming off 4 straight Pro Bowl appearances and still making less than $1 million per season, if I recall correctly.

  • Hec

    If he wanted to be a Steeler he would’ve been in camp already.

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    Not disagreeing with you. Just pointing out that OP ignored Hines Ward when stating “Holding out…never works out well for the player in the Steelers organization.”

  • Darth Blount 47

    This whole saga has become a shame. It’s hard not to put your own personal feelings onto Bell and his mentality and actions. I have no problem with Bell wanting to get paid the most premium of sums. And in the process, not in any way give the proverbial “hometown discount.” The CTE report about 99.9% percent of the brains tested, was absolutely horrifying, if we all take a step back and be honest. These guys are involved in frequent and constant car crashes.

    That said, we all believe in our hearts that the Pittsburgh Steelers represent a family. From ownership down to the lowest of fans. And again in that vain, that makes Le’Veon Bell my brother. Your brother. So it is not hard to root for your own brother to get the most out of life and his job that he can. That’s easy. Easy for me. And as far as relationships on the team, Bell is not a Rook. He’s made those connections. He’s bled with these guys. He’s been there through the highs and lows. So those considerations are minimal. And as a professional, I also don’t worry much about “getting him up to speed” either physically or mentally, despite the “changes” that are being made. Take the rock, catch the rock, run by people, run over people, score. It’s NOT rocket science here, Dobbs.

    I also see all of the injuries that are occurring during camp, and I cringe. Some at our camp, but also at the others. I mean, the Ratbirds are losing guys to season-ending injuries so often, I have to hit refresh every 5 seconds in order to catch the latest ones. Bell is staying highly conditioned, by all reports. I love knowing that he isn’t out there right now with the chance to have his season ended during the pre-season. We’ve really been fortunate if you think about it, that the more premier of our players (you know who I mean) haven’t themselves ever suffered some terrible tragic happening during this time. (No Golson, I wasn’t looking at you)

    HOWEVER…. because this is a family… what I don’t want to hear is that Bell is refusing to talk to Ben. Not returning a phone call or text is one thing. But purposefully refusing to ignore your QB because you think you are royalty, is another. Like it or not, Ben IS the leader of this team. And like it or not, he actually could really control your football life more than you might think. Now, I don’t believe Ben would do that. But I bet someone like Peyton Manning, who was essentially his own Offensive Coordinator, took it upon himself once or twice, to deliver his own form of frontier justice. “Omaha, omaha!” (That means we’re audibling and you aren’t getting the ball this play either. Or the next. Or the next. Or the next. Omaha!)

    Point is, even I am guilty of putting my own feelings upon players, even though I consider myself a pretty player-centric fan. I don’t take kindly to disrespect. And like some members of Steeler Nation, and unlike a few others, I adore Ben. In the words of TO… “That’s my teammate. (Sob) That’s my Quarterback. (Sob) (sob). So in the end, this is all kind of a shame. These are grown men, and not high schoolers. So when I hear about Ben and Bell not being able to connect for a day or two for whatever reason, no prob. No big whoop. But IF Bell is choosing to show someone like Ben actual outward disrespect, well… that’s where the shame of this all starts to show. Because, the trajectory that Bell has suddenly put himself on, is one of losing all of that goodwill that he has built upon with the fanbase. He should remember, the suspensions. Whether they were for nonsensical type reasons in my opinion or not. The injuries, suspensions, and now this… all are leading to him becoming the opposite of beloved. Every family has its black sheep. I get that. I know that well. But it didn’t or doesn’t have to be this way for Le’Veon.

    It’s at the point now, that for many people, (see the above comments) even if Bell were to ultimately sign a long-term deal, his stock has fallen inextricably low. I like Bell. I was tickled when we drafted him. I thought he would be a stud. I watched many of his MSU games. But even I, have to consider all of this saga to be a bit of an unnecessary expenditure. I fast forward mentally to Goodell having this look on his face, as he knows now that he has to hand the Lombardi trophy over to James Harrison. And I can’t help but wonder what impact a last game victory like that is going to have on Bell. And on us as fans. The season is long and hasn’t yet begun, so it’s impossible to say with certainty. But I’d hate to think or believe that the damage that Bell has done now reputationally, couldn’t be undone with both a Super Bowl victory and an agreement on a new contract. Maybe it has. Maybe there are those who Bell is truly dead to now. But on a pure talent basis, Bell might be the most overall talented RB to ever wear our uniform. But one thing is for certain… he’ll never be beloved now like Franco or Jerome. And that is surely a shame, considering his on-field abilities.

  • Steeler Nation!

    I think he whizzed all over the idea of a long term contract from the Steelers. It ain’t happening now. He might play 2 years here, maybe.

  • NinjaMountie

    I agree. You can not sign your tag. You can hold out. You don’t have to be disrespectful while doing it.

  • NinjaMountie

    Football shape matters. Do you know how much fumbles go up the first week of hitting? They go up. Do you know how much mental mistakes go up? Reps are the only thing that cures these ails. Do you want him going through this during TC or week 1 and 2?
    While I agree with your overall point lets not undervalue practice, either.
    Also, Bosa missed the first 4 games of the season due to hamstring injury. Coincidence?

  • Darth Blount 47

    Yeah. Come to Camp with a handshake agreement with Tomlin that your groin is a tad tender and you think it best to not have to exert yourself during an essentially meaningless pre-season slate. Pretend you are 39. Lol. But at least show yourself to still be a member of this team who recognizes what is going on in Pittsburgh this season. Dan Rooney’s death isn’t forgotten simply because it happened months ago. There is real urgency with this team now. And though I’d absolutely HATE to think that we need some sort of macabre motivation such as that to get us laser-focused, opportunities knock in the strangest of ways. I truly feel in my bones that this is a championship-caliber team. And we need Bell to be present and accounted for. I’m optimistic that he’ll mightily contribute to our success. But I’m not mightily optimistic that his reputation can be so easily cemented. And again… that’s just a shame, really.

  • Darth Blount 47

    I respect your opinion. I’d like to think that’s not the case. But if we can and do ensure that he is here for those next 2 years, we can always see where we and he is at, at that new time in the future. Never say never. Especially if we get to the promised land.

  • VaDave

    It took Bell all of 1 game last year to get up to scratch. We will be fine. Frankly, I’d much rather have him healthy at the end of the season, than the beginning. Jmo.

  • VaDave

    And we will need him at the end of the season, not so much in training camp. Btw, how many post season games has he missed? Let that one stew a bit.

  • VaDave

    For this season… that said, I’m not real hopeful for a resolution next year..

  • VaDave

    Spot on!

  • VaDave

    I agree, we are going to be fine.

  • VaDave

    Noah, I’m not so sure Bell has a “plight” going on, unless you can call $12 mil a plight… I would be absolutely astounded if the Steelers pull this tender offer, so all Bell is required to do, assuming the Steelers don’t recind the tender, is sign by 11-2017 and he’s guaranteed $12,210,000. Call it one too many beers talking, but if we can put up a decent regular season without him, and he came in to play in November, assuring a fresh set of legs for the playoffs, maybe that’s not a bad thing.

  • Kevin Schwartz

    Yup, Bell’s still my favorite Steeler, the only jersey I own, but I’d like it a lot better if he didn’t just ignore the team. Hold out for whatever money you want, that’s your business, but not showing up is clearly a bit of an issue of the coach, the QB, AB, and others are all imploring him to come to camp. If they weren’t concerned, I wouldn’t be, but yeah. There’s a solid 1-2 year window at winning a Super Bowl with Ben still around. Even if he leaves after a year or two to take a $15 million deal, you don’t know the next time you’re gonna have this chance again. You couldn’t finish the last 3 seasons due to injury. It seems like you wouldn’t want to jeopardize your window.

  • Alan Tman

    Ryan Shazier has a hamstring pull at training camp. What should we attribute that to?

  • Big White

    What is Ben talking about? He’s had half the camp off, been wrapped in ice and isn’t playing in the 1st or 2nd preseason game. He’s never been known for his brains, guess the trend continues.

  • Big White

    Ben is probably one of the worst conditioned athletes in the NFL. AV and Tuitt both could run circles around Ben.

  • RickM

    A story where Ben is more than fair about his comments about Bell…and you feel the need to introduce Ben’s conditioning and his brains. Roethlisberger even showed up for the voluntary OTAs. Get off your hate horse. Better yet, find another team till he retires and take a few others with you.

  • Big White

    They’re fair if they come from someone who takes pride in their conditioning. His comments about Martavis would be fair too, had Ben not screwed up royally down in Georgia.

  • RickM

    Georgia? You have to be kidding. Give it a rest and give people credit for redemption some time, especially when they were never even charged to begin with.

    I don’t mind Roethlisberger being criticized for his performance on the field. And I join in that criticism. But there are a contingent of fans on here who criticize virtually everything he says or does. They take great glee in it. For those of us who want to enjoy his final year or two, it becomes incredibly old. Why you guys have such bitterness towards him is beyond me. You’d think you’d spare the rest of us and cheer for a different team.

  • NinjaMountie

    C’mon, my friend. Being a QB doesn’t require the kind of conditioning that a RB needs. Just because he isn’t super fit doesn’t mean he doesn’t have anything worthwhile to say.
    Also, if it took people “living” what they say, then there wouldn’t be a person able to comment on anything on this board.
    Also, why bring up Georgia? Isn’t it getting a little old?

  • SteelersGeek4Lyfe

    Let’s be real, who here is actually concerned about Bell’s conditioning? *crickets*

    There are plenty of things to be concerned about, like locker room chemistry and whether or not he will be with us in the long run, but Bell can step on the field week 1, with no practice, and slay from the first snap. I seriously don’t have the faintest concern about his holdout impacting his ability to perform in the upcoming season. Having a slow start? Really? You do realize we play the Browns in week 1, right?

  • walter

    Im against running him to the ground. But I also dont think he will last the season. I have a bad feeling he will be hurt by the playoffs again. So maybe thats why Im not concerned even if he misses the first few games. maybe he will last longer. A crazy thought I know but trying to look on the bright side of a holdout.

  • MP

    It’s Bell’s prerogative to reject a contract. He may be a knucklehead, but that’s his right. I don’t think he’s worth as much as he thinks, but I can respect him driving a hard bargain. Sort of like when I’m at the car dealership. All the comments here about players needing to sacrifice for the team can easily be turned on their head. Why not have FO sacrifice for the team by paying Bell what he demanded? He’s not worth it? Why not make a sacrifice for the team? Sometimes my family demands we buy popcorn at the movies even though it’s overpriced. It’s my wallet, so I can say no, though sometimes I don’t. Why? Because I want everyone to be happy. Bottom line is, the Steelers have a way of dealing with players and don’t want to deviate from precedent, but if they wanted him in camp, they could have paid. Bell’s a bit of a knucklehead, though he’ll probably play lights out this year if he stays healthy, redefine RB, redefine its value, and then go play for some big market team next year. If so, good for him. Don’t know if we’ll make an SB run next year without him, but this year is certainly not inhibited by him not being in camp. Ben, Colbert, and Tomlin need to relax even if they are reading from scripts.

  • Jim Foles

    Maybe not LJ though.. He is slow.

  • Jim Foles

    Hopefully we do not lose to the Browns because of the running backs, and Bell not being ready.. the other players will hate him as they worked their arses off to be ready… he has 12 mil in his hand and didn’t help the team start the year off full tilt.

  • Nolrog

    And that is totally fine. Both sides didn’t agree, now the franchise tag is in effect no matter what.

    At this point, the “he’s just trying to get paid” argument is no longer valid. It was true before camp, absolutely, but now, the money is set in stone, so there is absolutely no reason he’s not here.

  • Nolrog

    He’ll get franchised again next year.

  • Nolrog

    The fact that Shazier is injury prone.

  • will

    Or 2-3 years

  • will

    For example?

  • will

    Or wait until the playoffs to avoid injury

  • will

    Who are “the lowest of fans”?

  • SilverSteel

    You don’t have to look for a reason. The players and coach want him to practice. Period. For the good of the team and our SB run (hopefully). Are you saying MT and BB are being unreasonable? Practice is part of the game. MT might say the most important part.

    It’s not like the team wasn’t loyal when he screwed them over. They stood by and waited for him to get his act together. It is totally reasonable for Tomlin and BB to be concerned. We have no guarantees he will ever sign. That affects how things play out.

  • SilverSteel

    He has assignments on passing plays too. That’s a lot of plays. Your argument was stated poorly. He doesn’t just run around and find a hole. The whole O works in unison. That takes practice.

  • SilverSteel

    12 mil is not a hometown discount. It’s 50% more than the highest paid RB. Let’s not act like the FO is cheap. They freakin overpaid for AB.

  • RickM

    I think Bell will be smart enough to report next week for the very reasons you mention. He’s on an audition for 2018, or a $14 M franchise tag. He’ll know he needs some snaps, some contact, etc. The Bosa injury is a good ‘catch’ and chances are pretty good it was related to pushing himself to get ready after the holdout.

  • RickM

    For a guy who has missed 1 of every 4 games, and who has never had a complete season, yes $12 M was a strong offer. I remember in the final week of negotiations, fans commented on what his contract should be. I can’t recall anyone arguing for $15M. Few even argued for as high as $12M. So I agree, the FO seems to have gone as high as they felt they could.

  • RickM

    Yes, there could easily be timing issues and if new things have been added to the playbook possible assignment issues. Avoiding injury would also be important. All of a sudden he’s going to be blocking 300 pound guys again, taking hit after hit, making severe cuts, etc. No workout in a gym can simulate that. Fatigue often leads to injuries. They should definitely manage his Week 1 snap counts if he arrives after the final pre-season game…which I can’t believe he would ever do.

  • Alan Tman

    You have no idea how many plays were added unless you’re the new OC It could be 5 or 7. So, when are you going to be introduced? Lol

  • Alan Tman

    Ben said Le’Veon needs the work, because he can’t simulate football shape. Then in the same interview say Sammie Coates will be fine is ludicrous. Coates spot on the roster is in peril not Le’Veon’s.

  • SilverSteel

    Agreed. 🤔

  • SilverSteel

    It was already said that a lot more changes than usual are happening.

  • SilverSteel

    Thank you for bringing common sense to the discussion.

  • Alan Tman

    That doesn’t mean it’s so. We’ll see. It also can be the same plays from different formations. How many different formations have we seen for the counter with DeCastro and the TE pulling? We will have to wait and see.

  • RickM

    You don’t need any help with that, but thanks.

  • RickM

    If they give him 35 carries he’ll be hurt in Week 1 lol. But I agree that his injury history is becoming troubling.

    No disrespect intended, but I’m almost positive that Bell is making the final decisions on his value, not his agent. Bell has stated on the record that he has a mission to re-define the value of RB’s. And of course he had his rap song where he talked about needing $15 Million to sign. I think he’s the one who has set his price tag, as is his right.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Dave, he’s already a couple of steps towards alienating people on the team. I’d say if he holds out AT ALL things are going to be very different for him.

    He’s showing only selfishness and zero team attributes during this time and it’s hard to root for or care for a guy who’s only about himself.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Also about getting injured without this level of practice and contact, which is why so many players get injured in the first week of camp.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Not coming to camp has everything to do with getting injured. Just look at the first week of camp, all the players who dropped. And at a time where the team has multiple positives lined up, Bell is serving as the lone negative/distraction/team chemistry issue when that’s really unnecessary.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    That football shape matters of course.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Or he gets injured sooner and plays less. But, at least he’ll get his money if that happens. That’s what matters.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Just look at the string of injuries once camp starts. For all teams. Football shape matters.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Excellent post, thanks Zarbor.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    He has a right to be his own advocate. All people and players do. But he turned down more money than most NFL players will ever dream about. There’s not a single reason for him to not be in camp right now.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Hey, I said that too. lol

  • SilverSteel

    We are all just wanting that championship and don’t want anymore drama getting in the way. Way too much distracting stuff in the last three years.

  • Alan Tman

    You don’t get to say what is unnecessary in another humans contract negotiations. That’s between Bell and the Steelers. When the Steelers think it’s unnecessary they will rescind the offer.

  • VaDave

    I hear you, and judging from comment from coaches, GM, and fellow players, there has to be some frustration building. That said, I would be extremely surprised that on opening day, Bell is not in the staring lineup and playing better than any other RB on the planet. Secondly, I firmly believe when he rips off his first jawdropper, all will be forgotten by players, coaches, and fans alike.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    lol, okay Alan. But it sure sounds like his teammates and coaches are saying similar things. And his decisions have been the ONLY negative of camp so far, in a team sport.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Also, these aren’t contract negotiations. Bell didn’t accept. Negotiations are over. No reason for him to not be there, man. None.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    I agree with most of that, Dave. The Bobby Knight effect is clearly a real thing when it comes to winning. But.. considering the timing and how much of a team/family the Steelers are/have always been.. this just doesn’t fit well.

  • RickM

    No, all will not be forgotten. When a guy wants almost double what any other RB wants, he’ll have to do a heck of a lot more than rip off one run. He’ll have to have an excellent season, compete fully on all plays and stay healthy for once.

  • Alan Tman

    You obviously have never negotiated a contract that stalled, and that’s all I need to say here.

  • Alan Tman

    It’s not any of his teammates business. Is it your coworkers business how much you make or what you negotiate? Tomlin can say what he wants, but this is between the owner and player. No one else.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Your last comments make me realize our conversation can’t go anywhere meaningful. Best to you Alan..

  • Alan Tman

    That would be nice but, where there is life there’s drama. This will bring the team closer if he comes in before the regular season, because they will circle the wagons against the surly portion of the fanbase against Bell. Lol

  • Alan Tman

    Same to you.

  • Terrible Towlie

    he who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client

  • Terrible Towlie

    he should be there, even if its just to stand next to Tomlin and joke around…he needs to be part of the TEAM

  • Terrible Towlie

    unless he’s still injured, or not done rehabbing from his surgery…..even so that shouldnt keep him away….the team as its own medical staff

  • Alan Tman

    Here comes the Ben police.

  • Terrible Towlie

    the thing is by not signing the deal offered he will make less money than if he did sign….$42 mil the 1st 3 years, is $14mil a season, but he wants $15? wtf is the difference

  • Mark

    “when asked if he’s worried about Bell not yet reporting to the team”. His comment should’ve been, “I look forward to LeVeon joining us soon, however, that is up to him. I’m confident he’s doing everything he can to have a productive season this year”

  • Terrible Towlie

    go be his PR man

  • Mark

    Let’s do whatever is necessary to win Superbowl #7 and I agree that running him 35 times a game doesn’t make sense with all of the weapons we have. We take what the defense is giving us each game. If that means Bell 35 times, so be it, however, that is highly unlikely. We win when we run the football, period! Less Ben throwing is more, especially on the road!

  • Kick

    I agree but it is his decision,

  • SilverSteel

    Good chatting with you. Thanks for keeping it civil. 😎

  • will

    You referred to players who hold out.

  • VaDave

    I should know better than to speak for you Rick, lol! Let me re-phrase, For SOME they will forget on the first, second or 3rd eye popper so on and so forth and by the end of the season, with the exception of some “elephants ” in the room, most everyone will have forgotten. I’ll qualify that with, if he has a stinko season, or he has another season ender malady and walks with his $12 mil, I’ll be The one in front with the proverbial pitchfork running him out of town. Have a good one buddy.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Nolrog said that. But it’s a similar situation when an NFL player first starts contact and the NFL-level of strain and activity. A holdout has the same dynamic of a player not having played and beginning. Lots of injuries there.

  • PaeperCup

    Negotiations are over. Now it’s just crying over spilt milk…..when there is still $12mil of milk left in the cup. Bell has no further options this year other than sign the tag and play or don’t play at all. Leveraging is not an issue, he’s just making it worse for the whole team just so he can pout. He’s got a right to be upset, but what is this proving at this point. I tell my elementary age kids the same thing. Be upset, be sad, but quit your whining and move forward.

  • Alan Tman

    I have negotiated multimillion dollar union contracts, and trust me everything is done for a reason. Just because you don’t understand why does not make it so. You think the Steelers are not seeing what they have without Bell right now? Connor, who can’t make it through a padded practice, so far (Not that I don’t believe that he won’t be productive ). But they have no clue what they have. FT33 and KD34. This threesome will not get the job done. A contract I negotiated the company broke off negotiations. After that they locked us out around Christmas. Now why do that after you cut off negotiations if that action made us more money sitting at home with strike funding and unemployment?

  • Darth Blount 47

    The ones who claim to be Steeler fans and then come on blogs and trash the players and coaches each and every chance that they get. They don’t actually own any or much Steeler merchandise. They have never been to a game. They didn’t shed a tear when Dan died (internally or externally). They even like to root for other teams often. And they couldn’t give a crud about the city, history, the familial attitude, or the players who have come before. They just call themselves Steeler fans when the whim hits them or because they think it makes them seem cooler or because they like the colors black & yellow.

    Now, I know what you’re thinking… “Do people like that even exist?!” Yes. Yes they do. I’ve personally met one in real life.

  • RickM

    Thanks Dave, you too. I don’t hold any personal ill will against Bell. But Alex’s line always strikes me the best. Something like he doesn’t just want to redefine the RB salary scale; he wants to burn it down. I’ll always have trouble with players who exemplify that kind of greed, especially when they have two suspensions and miss 1 in every 4 games. It just doesn’t seem fair for a player to ignore that part of his resume when calculating his worth. Cheers.

  • VaDave

    Oh, I hear you about greed thing, loud and clear. Kind of rubs me the wrong way too. This is the first one of these we’ve had to deal with in a long time, especially with a championship contending squad hanging in the balance. Trust me, I get it. That said, I don’t recall any serious lingering recriminations with Ward, Blount, and others that held out, or even ones that eventually moved on for that matter. JMO, at worst he doesn’t play at all, but I find that highly doubtful. More than likely he will be a one year rental, with an option on next year for a

  • will

    Okay…that is a very good definition.

  • Alan Tman

    You’re a teacher?

  • razaard2

    Lots of criticism, but it will vanish as soon as juice get on regular season action and awe all of us slashing defenses and winning games. It has become an annual ritual, basically.
    Last year it was “DeAngelo is all we need, look how fine he is!”, but then “yeah nevermind, Bell is a whole different level”