According to Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Le’Veon Bell is the best evaluator of his own workload.
During his Tuesday interview on 93.7 The Fan, Roethlisberger was asked if he thinks Bell would tell the Steelers coaching staff if he needed a lighter workload soon after leading the league in total carries during the first half of the 2017 regular season.
“Yeah, I think he would,” Roethlisberger said of Bell, who has already rushed for 760 yards on 194 total carries during the team’s first eight games of the 2017 season. “And really, he’s the one that can judge best on how his body feels. And once again, that’s on Coach Todd [Haley], he’s going to call a run, screen, things like that to him, so really, only he can dictate how much Le’Veon is getting used and not used. And if he’s healthy and things are going well, then it’s working for us. And I understand people are going to be worried about that because he’s one of the best players in football and he’s really doing some great things for us. So, we’ll just have to monitor it as we get going.”
Bell is currently on pace to have 458 total touches this season and with his past late-season injury history, many wonder if his workload should be lightened some in the coming weeks and especially Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts being as the Steelers will have a short week after that contest that will culminate with a Thursday night home game against the Tennessee Titans.
While rookie running back James Conner has produced well when he’s touched the football during the first half of the regular season, his pass protection issues are probably preventing him from playing more offensive snaps. Bell, on the other hand, should still be relatively fresh due to him skipping all of training camp and the preseason due to contract issues. Even so, it would be foolish to expect him to stay healthy come the end of the season if he continues touching the football nearly 30 times a game.
Heavy workload issues aside, Roethlisberger made it clear on Tuesday that if the Steelers keep winning, he has absolutely no issues handing the ball off to Bell and watching him do his thing during the second half of the regular season.
“Of course not,” Roethlisberger said when asked if a continued heavy workload by Bell during the second half would bother him. “Any way that we can win a football game. You guys know me, we’ve been doing this show, winning football games is the only thing that matters to me. However you go about it, whatever the score is, however many points you score, or don’t score, just find a way to get the W.”