Tomlin Done With Talking About Bell Missing Camp


Even though Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell didn’t have a strong performance when it came to him running the football in the team’s Sunday season-opening win over the Cleveland Browns, head coach Mike Tomlin continues to point to the offensive penalties committed in that contest as the main reason why that was and that it had nothing to do with the former second-round draft pick staying away from the team all of training camp and the preseason.

During his Tuesday press conference, Tomlin took a little bit of an issue with Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network asking him if him pointing to the penalties as the main reason why Bell had a poor game running the football against the Browns on Sunday is him diminishing the idea that the starting running back should have been present for training camp this year.

“You can sing that Le’Veon Bell camp song all you want,” Tomlin replied to Kinkhabwala’s question. “He’s here, we’re working, it’s Week 2, we’re getting ready to play the Minnesota Vikings. I’m done with it.”

Tomlin was then asked to confirm by Kinkhabwala if that it’s indeed more of a reflection of the penalties before the Steelers head coach cut the rest of her question off.

“I said what I said,” Tomlin fired back.


Later during his press conference, Tomlin was asked if the Browns defensive scheme Sunday had a lot to do with the Steelers offense failing to run the football effectively when they attempted to do so.

“Like I mentioned, penalties and being behind the chains ruins your balance,” Tomlin said. “It puts you in predictable circumstances. It plays in the defense’s favor. They took advantage of it, but they also played well.  They played well technically. They have good players and the acquisition of Coach [Gregg] Williams and the schemes that he employs is formidable and I’m not surprised by that. I’m very familiar with that.

“We’ve had some difficult running games against Coach Williams in the past in instances where Le’Veon was in training camp, for example. 2015 St Louis Rams, for example. That’s why I lose patience when we repeatedly cover the same things.”

Tomlin was eventually asked later to evaluate Bell’s Sunday performance against the Browns.

“He needs to get better and it will,” Tomlin said.

Bell rushed for 32 yards on 10 carries against the Browns on Sunday with a long of 15 yards. Rookie running back James Conner didn’t fair much better as he ended the game with 11 yards on his four total carries with a long of 5 yards.

The Steelers will now prepare to play the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday at Heinz Field. In their Monday night win over the New Orleans Saints, the Vikings defense limited opposing running backs to just 53 yards rushing on 19 total carries.

  • srdan

    This season is more how you finish than how you start. And if there is one thing that I would bet on is that Munch will get better Oline play throughout the year, no matter the front. I expect it to start this week.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Right! The Steelers chose NOT to run the top RB in the league because of penalties. And Bell looked sluggish and out of position because of the penalties too.

    Obviously, Tomlin is wanting to quiet those issues that could be a distraction, but there’s not much to debate here.

    We all saw it.. the media saw it and I’m quite sure the coaches saw it.

    But there’s not much they can do, so we’ll all just have to watch Bell work his way into shape while the games that matter are happening and HOPE it doesn’t cost a loss.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Unless you lose games early that you should not, which the Steelers tend to do early in the year. Maybe home field advantage is the cost there, who know this early.

  • srdan

    I just went and looked at our record for the first quarter of the recent seasons. I had to go to that Tennessee game where we started 0-4 overall to find a losing record. Two years ago we played the pats in gillette to open up and went 2-2. The other loss being to the ravens in OT. Last eyar we lost to the eagles on the road. I guess you could say that should have been won.

    What games stand out to you that we should have won in the early parts of seasons?

    I definitely had a feeling that we were a team that started well, but you are correct that we do struggle.

  • hdogg48

    We’re going to need at least a decent game from Bell.
    By decent I mean at least 100 all purpose yards.

    Last week he was far from being decent.

    The Vikes got after Brees pretty good last night after they took
    Peterson out of the game. Brees is a more accurate short game passer
    than Ben and gets rid of it quicker too.

    He is going to have to EARN his $12.1M against the Ratbirds
    In Baltimore in week 4. They are always a handful down there
    and their D always brings it. They shut out the Bungles
    in Cincinnati which is to say the least…noteworthy.

  • nutty32

    Would love to find out just how much about football Aditi knows. Every news outlet by in large hire women because they’re attractive, but I’m the sexist for seeking knowledge of the subject matter. Crazy ass backwards world we live in.

  • Applebite

    I guess that makes me the sexist that agrees with your sentiment. Eye candy is nice, but knowledge is power. Gimme power, not puckered lips.

  • JT

    Loved the way he handled the questions after the game. WRITE THAT, while not as eloquent as some of his other Tomlinisms, will become a new favorite for me.

  • JT

    Combine that with our elite December record, and you see why Tomlin has never had a losing season.

  • nutty32

    and just to be clear, this goes for the guys too. Not the attractive part but just too many frustrated novelist covering sports and trolling out of ignorance.

  • Steeler-Drew

    Foster in his weekly appearance on the FAN even admitted it may take Bell a few more games to shake off the rust and get in sync with the OL. Hopefully as you say it doesn’t come with a cost.

  • Smitty 6788

    Foster was piss poor in run blocking. As was the entire OL and TE’s. Conner ran with this OL during preseason and how did he fair on his runs? This run game was poor because Cleveland’s front 7 kicked out butts..

  • FATCAT716

    I know it’s early but Bell should be looking around the league at these rookie running back throw wrench in his plans to change how running backs get paid. Coming out of college lighting the league up

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Yeah man.. it’s more the record in the first four games each season. Another commenter did the math on another post and had the Steelers with an even record under Tomlin at .500 for his first four games.

  • Steeler-Drew

    Nobody is disputing that and you are missing the point. I said in another post everyone not named AB had a subpar game. That being said they are still further along than Bell in terms of rust. Just like a QB needs practice with his WRs the OL and Bell need time to get in sync. Had he been on camp perhaps Foster would not have made his comments. And Conner didn’t get much of a chance to play with the first team. And when he did I don’t remember him playing great but I don’t remember him playing poorly either.

  • Aj Gentile

    I believe that the Vikings have a strong front 7 too.

  • francesco

    Yes i’m finding Aditi to be very annoying. It’s almost like she is trying very hard to make us believe she understands football.

  • francesco

    It’s like riding a bike. The first time you get on it it feels different from the last time and a bit awkward. I believe that’s what Bell was experiencing in week 1.
    My theory will go out the window if same in week 2😊

  • nutty32

    or extend whatever click baity narrative her espn overlords want her to drum up. Tomlin was having none of it, today.

  • pittfan

    I get why MT is done talking about it because what’s done is done. At some point it just becomes monotonous. We’re there. For the team’s sake, I hope LB bounces back into form quickly and this becomes a dead issue.