Count the man with the longest tenure on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ beat as thinking Le’Veon Bell will be absent Day One of camp.
In his Post Gazette chat yesterday, Ed Bouchette was immediately asked if he thought Bell would report to Latrobe on Day One. Here’s his answer.
“I don’t think he will report to training camp on time…”
There are many who believe Bell will skip out on the Latrobe portion of the preseason, showing up sometime after the team’s second preseason game when they’re back in the city. Bouchette is obviously as clued in as anyone and correctly said the team would not be able to work out a long-term deal with Bell. So the opinion has clout.
That doesn’t mean there are teammates looking to pressure Bell to show up right away. Antonio Brown has served as that champion, repeatedly going in on social media. Yesterday, Brown made another plea, and sort of a dig, at him.
The caption: “So you not trying to play with us bro @steelerrb26 ?! First rule to getting better is showing Up! #movementnotmoment“
He’s made similar Twitter/Instagram comments for the past few days and told reporters he had a “two hour” conversation with Bell this past weekend, ostensibly to convince him to show up. But ultimately, the decision lies with Bell, who is not under contract and can’t be financially punished by the team.