All Steelers can do is just wait
PITTSBURGH — Today is the day! Well, maybe it is.
This is the day the Steelers will cast their eyes toward the door of the locker room and full expect to see Le’Veon Bell there, ready to join the team at practice.
Just about everyone expected Bell to report on Monday to sign his contract for this season after skipping training camp.
It didn’t happen, and Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert felt the need to issue a statement expressing his disappointment.
Bell didn’t show up Tuesday either, although that’s not a big day in the work week.
Today is the first heavy work in preparation for Sunday’s opener at Cleveland, and that’s why some of the players expect to see Bell.
Maurkice Pouncey said he believes Bell will be there. Ben Roethlisberger said he thinks Bell will be on hand. However, Roethlisberger did caution that he was basing projection on a hunch, not any specific information.
If players have been in contact with Bell, they haven’t said so. Roethlisberger said he last communicated with Bell before training camp opened.
Coach Mike Tomlin has been in regular contact with Bell, “but not this week.”
If Bell shows up, he can jump into practice and be ready to go on Sunday, at least to some degree.
If he doesn’t show? He forfeits a game check that would be worth more than $800,000. He really won’t change where he is with the Steelers.
They’ve designated him their franchise player, and the paperwork to finalize that agreement is probably in the top drawer of Colbert’s desk.
The Steelers need Bell. He probably needs the $17 million he stands to collect this season.
They can both benefit from his signature on those documents.
We’ll see if today is the day.
Roethlisberger brought up an interesting point on his weekly radio show Tuesday.
In discussing his sadness over losing Landry Jones as his backup, he also noted that Jones had been a help to him even when he didn’t play.
Roethlisberger said he could come off the field after a series and discuss what happened with Jones. They were comfortable enough together that Jones could tell him specifics, like there was an open receiver along the sideline who he didn’t spot.
Inexperienced Josh Dobbs and Mason Rudolph are unlikely to make those observations, much less pass them along to a veteran like Roethlisberger.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org