This wasn’t a player trying to get more money.
Although that might be an ulterior motive in this situation, when Le’Veon Bell spoke to the media on Monday, a day after the Steelers’ embarrassing 30-9 loss to the Jaguars, it was a player frustrated with everything.
Frustrated with the play-calling.
Frustrated with his role in the offense.
Frustrated with just how poor the offense has functioned through five weeks of the 2017 regular season.
When Bell was asked what he thought was wrong with the game plan, his answer was simple.
“I don't think we got enough attempts,” said Bell to the press.
And why didn’t he get more carries?
“I didn't get any explanation. I just go out there and play.”
Was the game plan to go out and pound the rock?
“Um, no,” Bell said.
The fact of the matter is the Steelers played the league’s worst run defense, and they failed to run the football. And when some fans suggest the game was getting away from Pittsburgh and they had to throw the ball to get back into the game. This fact might change your mind:
At the time Roethlisberger threw his first pick 6, the Steelers - who were leading 9-7 - had thrown ball 31x and run it 12.— Will Graves (@WillGravesAP) October 9, 2017
You can’t blame Bell for being frustrated. Just a week prior, the Steelers ran all over the Baltimore Ravens, and it seemed as if a recipe for success had been found.
“Coming off the Ravens game, (the Jaguars) saw what happened,” Bell said. “We ran the ball a lot, so of course they came out gearing to stop the run. It really doesn't matter. I feel like we're a good enough team that we can wear guys out whether they know we're running the ball or not.”
“I feel like there was room in there,” Bell said. “The stats don't really show what really happened. On certain runs, we lost yards, but I felt like we were running the ball effectively.”
“I think that's just the formula for winning,” Bell said. “The Jaguars ran the ball a lot of the time. You could see over the course of the game just wearing down the defense. Running the ball shortens the game and opens up the offense and makes passing the ball easier. It gets you in third-and-manageable downs. Over the course of the season, you'll see the teams that run the ball heavy win games.”
This isn’t the first time the Steelers have ignored a team’s glaring weakness, focusing more on trying to beat them the way they want to beat them. Will anything change? Only the coming games will decide this but, if the team continues to struggle, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to see some changes made one way or another.