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No message to be sent in Bell working with Steelers starters

After rookie running back LeVeon Bell got a chance to run with the first offensive unit, some thought that was meant to be a warning to Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman; Tomlin says otherwise.

LeVeon Bell goes up against Cortez Allen in a drill.
LeVeon Bell goes up against Cortez Allen in a drill.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Much news was made of LeVeon Bell's first opportunity to get reps in with the first offensive unit, especially with it coming early in the camp. Bell is the most anticipated draft pick at the position to be seen in a Pittsburgh uniform since Rashard Mendenhall was drafted in 2008's first round.

As Mike Tomlin was questioned about the move, some speculated that pitting Bell with Ben Roethlisberger and the other Pittsburgh starters was more of a motivational ploy on the part of Tomlin to incite better play from veteran running backs Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer. Tomlin declined the notion.

One can read into that to get a wide variety of interpretations. But what really should be noticed is what Tomlin's stance that this is no head-game he's playing with his veterans; Bell is getting the opportunities because the team wants him to get the looks as the starting back.

Tomlin has been quoted for saying that it would be nice to have a feature back, When the Steelers went after a running back in the 2nd round of this year's draft, much speculation was put into whether or not Bell would be that back. However as the camp continues, look for Tomlin to give all three of his primary running back options the opportunity to step up. His "the standard is the standard" theme means that the best player will play. There won't be any incumbent who is handed their spot due to experience with the team, nor will the rookie be given the spot without contesting his worth throughout training camp.

But as Bell goes through his first camp at Saint Vincent College, it is evident that he will be tested to see his rookie potential. He's already been forced to go up against 1st round draft pick, Jarvis Jones, in the backs on backers drill. This fits right into another one of Tomlin's adages, "iron sharpens iron." Look for every opportunity to be given to all three of the Steelers primary running backs going into this season in order to determine the depth chart for week one against the Tennessee Titans.

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