Do the Steelers miss Le’Veon Bell? So far, it’s hard to tell. The good news is James Conner posted 192 all-scrimmage yards in week one. Le’Veon Bell frankly couldn’t have played much better. The downside is that the Steelers tied the pathetic Cleveland Browns and Bell’s presence felt missed. It’s obvious that Bell wants a new contract but it’s not as simple as that. Bell’s main concern looks like it pertains to his potential workload if and when he returns to the Steelers.
Bell spoke privately to former NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew about what’s going on with his situation:
“[Bell] was happy for James Conner after that performance but that performance justifies why he’s not there right now,” Jones-Drew said on the Dave Dameshek Football Program earlier this week. “If you’re going to give James Conner 31 carries, imagine how many you’d give to Le’Veon Bell?”
Bell touched the ball over 400 times a year ago so it’s not hard to blame him in a sense. With Bell likely on his way out after this season, he doesn’t want to be run into the ground which would send his market value into the toilet. If Bell is considered fresh and healthy by other suitors, his market value would increase. Bell remains clear that it’s nothing personal against his teammates, he’s just looking to get paid.
“[Bell] said to me, ‘People think that I don’t like Pittsburgh, I don’t like James Conner, I don’t like these guys,’” Jones-Drew said. “He was like, ‘Yes, I was disappointed they went out and spoke about my contract,’ understandably so. He was like, ‘But I still want them to do well, they’re still guys that I work with and guys that I’ve put in this extra work with — blood, sweat and tears like I still want them to do well.’”
We really don’t know when Le’Veon Bell will return and anyone who thinks they really know are lying. Until then, I’m hype to see James Conner continue to shred defenses.