The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the regular season, where everything is magnified and, you know, actually counts. The team is working through the highs and lows and dramas that go through a typical Steelers season.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: So, um…will Le’Veon Bell show up today?
Of course this has to be the question asked today. This is the Tuesday deadline of Week 11. Unless Le’Veon Bell is in the building by 4 PM, his season is over and more likely than not he will never be a part of the Steelers organization again.
He is apparently in Pittsburgh, for some reason. Art Rooney II said before the weekend that he expected Bell to show up and that he hoped to have some communication over the weekend. It doesn’t sound like that happened, and for the moment it doesn’t sound like anybody is expecting the running back to show up.
The key in all this, however, is the fact that we have never known for sure exactly what was going to happen all along. And I think that’s because even Bell himself hasn’t been sure all along exactly what he was going to do.
I don’t think, for example, that he would have bothered to come to Pittsburgh if he wasn’t at least weighing the possibility of showing up for work. I could be wrong, but I don’t know what the point would have been otherwise.
Do I think he’s going to show up? No. Would I like him to show up? At this point, honestly I think I’d rather him not report. Not because I’m ‘done’ with him or anything, but just because I don’t know if it would be the best thing for the team after having built something over the past 7-8 months without him.
Plus, I wouldn’t mind the Steelers getting that extra $6 million Bell would be leaving on the table for next offseason. I don’t think he has much to offer right now, other than depth, that the team doesn’t already have on the roster. And they have a good enough offensive line to run the ball even if James Conner were to miss time, enough to be effective.