It’s now Wednesday of Week 1 and Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell still hasn’t shown up to the team’s facility to sign his franchise tag tender and thus he missed the morning meeting. In short, it’s not looking like Bell will be in uniform Sunday when the Steelers play the Cleveland Browns unless the running back shows up very soon.
On the heels of Bell not showing up on Wednesday, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was asked about the team’s top running back still being AWOL during his afternoon media session.
“He is one of the best in the business. Any time you have a guy like that, you want him on the field with you,” said Roethlisberger, according to steelers.com. “I think we are a very good offense. Football is the ultimate team sport. One person doesn’t make or break you. I’d like to say the linemen are more important than any skill position player, including myself, on this team. This offense is more than one guy.”
So, is Roethlisberger now expecting second-year running back James Conner to be the starter Sunday against the Browns in Cleveland?
“You have to, right?” he said, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com.
Conner had a great offseason and Roethlisberger emphasized again on Wednesday how the team’s 2017 third-round draft pick out of Pittsburgh has made improvements in several areas of his game.
“I think James has done a great job of it so far,” said Roethlisberger. “I think he gets to his spot really quick, which is awesome for a quarterback. A guy who gets to his spot, checks his protections, gets to his spot and then you know he is there and ready to get the ball.
“He has worked a lot on his hands. He is catching the ball really well right now. I am excited for James, probably as much as he is for himself to get out there.”
Personally, I am a bit surprised that Bell has yet to show up. For now, however, the team must move forward with the assumption they won’t have him Sunday against the Browns.