Steelers equipped to survive, thrive without Le'Veon Bell in 2018

‘One Person Doesn’t Make Or Break You:’ Steelers Prepare For Week One Without Le’Veon Bell

‘One Person Doesn’t Make Or Break You:’ Steelers Prepare For Week One Without Le’Veon Bell

"What do you do?"

The All-Pro running back's absence Wednesday prompted some harsh remarks from his Steelers teammates; center Maurkice Pouncey called Bell's holdout "selfish" and accused him of playing "hide-and-seek", while guard Ramon Foster flat-out said Bell "doesn't give a damn".

"I just felt confident that he was gonna come", Pouncey said Wednesday, "But now that he didn't, obviously it's Le'Veon over the Steelers, and we're the Steelers and we're going to play as the Steelers".

"He's making seven times what I make, twice as much as Al (Villanueva) is making, and we're the guys who do it for him", Foster added.

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Some Steelers players are starting to get restless with the holdout, but Bell is going to do what's best for his long-term future. Browns defensive end Myles Garrett has made it no secret that he wants to face, and sack, Roethlisberger, after not getting the opportunity to play against him previous year. There's a sense of anger that he has intentionally left them in the dark, forcing them to answer for him. Drafted 48th overall in 2013, Bell is a two-time first-team All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler who has racked up almost 8,000 yards from scrimmage and 42 total touchdowns in 62 career games. Either way, if you have him on your roster, you need to play him against the Cleveland Browns this week. I'd like to say the linemen are more important than any skill position player, including myself, on this team. Why let your agent say this?

Telling 93.7 the on Tuesday, "A lot of people expected him here yesterday, people were hoping, thinking, but we went about our business, we hope he's here tomorrow".

One other possibility - though NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday it won't happen - is the Steelers could rescind the franchise tag, allowing Bell to immediately become an unrestricted free agent. But when he still didn't show up, their patience ran out. We are in win now mode in spite of Big Ben's desire to play beyond this current year. It sucks that he's not here. we'll move on as a team. With all of the touches he gets during the season he wants wide receiver money, but he stands to miss out on $852,941 each week that he's away from the team. He has still not signed his $14.5m franchise tag.

Bell has recently been embroiled in contentious contract talks with the Pittsburgh Steelers, even as the 2018-2019 National Football League season gets underway in a matter of hours.

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