The Pittsburgh Steelers are back-to-back winners for the first time in this 2018 season after a solid performance vs. the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium in Week 6. With the team now able to relax on their bye-week in Week 7, they will hope to improve on their 3-2-1 record by beating the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens in Weeks 8 and 9.
Something I did last season and I’m going to start again is the Black-and-gold Links article.
This is an article where I take stories from quality news sources across the Internet and add them here for your viewing pleasure. I won’t be posting the entire articles, but I’ll link each story and author so that you can read the full article.
Today we talk about the fact Le’Veon Bell hasn’t reported to the team, this despite the latest rumor of a bye week arrival. At this point, entering Week 8, you have to wonder if the Steelers even care if Bell shows up. Sure, he is a tremendous talent and would help the team win, but James Conner has been more than impressive in his time getting the first team reps. Maybe, just maybe, the team is saying, “Le’Veon who?”
Let’s get to the news:
By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Another week of Pittsburgh Steelers practice began Monday. And once again, Le’Veon Bell was not present.
There was no sign of Bell at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex as the Steelers returned from a four-day break over their bye week. An ESPN report earlier in the month said Bell planned to sign his franchise player tag during the bye, but Bell did not, and Monday the team began game-week preparations for Sunday’s home game against Cleveland.
“In our locker room, we’re not even worried about it,” defensive captain Cameron Heyward said. “It’s unfair for me to even talk about him. He’ll have to answer his questions when he wants to. We’re not talking about him right now. We have the Cleveland Browns. If he joins along the way, so be it. It’s not fair to everybody in this locker room and Le’Veon himself to keep talking about him.”
It’s still possible Bell reports and signs his tender before the Steelers practice Wednesday. Also, the NFL trade deadline is Oct. 30, which would present the next benchmark date he could join the team. The Steelers can ask for a two-week roster exemption for Bell, who must agree to the terms before he signs his franchise-tag tender. Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported Sunday that Bell’s representatives contacted the Steelers last week to discuss terms of the roster exemption, and the hangup could be a reason he has not reported to the team.
Bell must be active for six weeks to accrue a full season of service time.
By: Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Last weekend, the Army hockey team was in town to play Robert Morris on Neville Island. So my broadcast partner on the games — Mike Prisuta of the WDVE morning show — and I thought it would be a good idea to talk to Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva.
Since Villanueva was a member of the Black Knights football team, he seemed like a good person to speak with to get a gauge on what it takes to be a student athlete at an institution that has as many physical and education demands as West Point does.
The conversation was entertaining and gave a great “behind the curtain” look at the challenges of being a student athlete at West Point.
By: Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Another potential reporting date. Another day without Le’Veon Bell at Pittsburgh Steelers headquarters.
Some of Bell’s teammates, who were previously agitated about those days ticking off the calendar, appear bemused now.
“I’m enjoying the ride just like you guys,” center Maurkice Pouncey said with a grin. “I want to see how it plays out.”
First it was training camp. Then, Week 1 of the regular season. Then, the Monday of the bye week. Then, the Monday after the bye week.
All of those potentially logical days for Le’Veon Bell to end his franchise-tag-induced absence from the Steelers have come and gone.
Now, perhaps buoyed by consecutive wins over Atlanta and Cincinnati, the anger in the voices of the Steelers offensive linemen has dissipated. Once a group that seemed betrayed when Bell stayed away, it appears to be dismissive of any concerns now.
“We were disappointed that he wasn’t here (before Week 1),” guard David DeCastro told me. “But, after that, you just kind of move on.”
The most interesting development during this weekend’s episode of “As The Running Back Turns” was an ESPN report from Adam Schefter.
“There are some sources around the league who believe that because Bell does not want to be traded, he will wait until after the NFL’s Oct. 30 trade deadline to return to work,” Schefter wrote.
What? Why? That doesn’t make any sense. I’m not doubting Schefter’s reporting. I’m doubting Bell’s logic.
By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Like many of his Pittsburgh Steelers teammates, cornerback Mike Hilton headed home for the four-day bye weekend break.
He probably was the only player, though, who used the time to get married.
Hilton returned to Georgia and married his fiancee, Chassidy, on Friday at a small ceremony he said included about 20 to 30 family members and friends.
“Probably the happiest moment of my life,” Hilton said Monday.
The engagement lasted only three months, but the couple didn’t exactly rush into their nuptials. Hilton said he has known Chassidy for 13 years, since the seventh grade. He estimated they dated for nine years.
“People think it’s kind of fast, but I’ve known her my whole life,” he said.
Hilton picked the bye week as his wedding date once the Steelers schedule was released in April. The honeymoon, however, won’t be a trip to Baltimore in two weeks when the Steelers play the Ravens.