It appears that Ben Roethlisberger’s weekly radio show on 93.7 The Fan was a little more interesting than just the usual cliché-filled stuff we might find from the Steelers’ quarterback yesterday.
To say that Roethlisberger called out rookie running back Le’Veon Bell was an understatement.
When asked about Bell, this is what he had to say, “You can’t get a read on him. One day he’s practicing, one day he’s not. One day he’s going hard, one day he’s not. I wish I could (tell you) if he were a guy like Heath Miller, who you knew was busting his butt every day to get back there.”
I’m no expert but that sounds to me like you aren’t real impressed with a guy’s work-ethic. To be compared to Heath Miller, who has returned from a major knee injury in roughly nine months, sends a pretty strong message that you aren’t doing what you need to be doing.
Bell wouldn’t be the first rookie in this league to let things go to his head. Read the comments in the papers and on social media and you’d think Bell was the second coming of Jim Brown and Barry Sanders rolled into one.
Is there a lot of expected of him? Damn right there is. He’s a second round pick who the Steelers had targeted all along to be their back of the future. With the running game a wreck, the need for Bell has grown ten-fold.
What many are forgetting is that the offensive line woes aren’t going anywhere though and while Bell is an upgrade, our expectations cannot be too high.
I read Roethlisberger’s comments as very tactical and nothing more than a tool for motivation. Bell hasn’t carried the ball once in the regular season yet so this team really has no idea what to expect. Obviously there is a feeling around the locker room that perhaps Bell doesn’t understand what it takes to be a true professional.
Cranking up the heat on him a little bit isn’t an issue. He should already feel the weight of the running game on his shoulders.
Oh, and before you tell Ben Roethlisberger to do something himself before calling out others, remember he’s a ten-year vet with two Super Bowl wins. That’s enough for me to say he has the right.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.