Despite being an aspiring rapper, communication has never been Le’Veon Bell’s strong suit and that is once again on display this week after he opened up to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN about his plans to return to the team in Week 7. While it might be all well and good to get your story out there in the press, it might also be nice to let your employer, the coaches or perhaps even just a teammate know your intentions. Sadly, that is not the path Bell has taken with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After Mike Tomlin admitted he had not talked to his star running back when speaking to the media on Tuesday, the local beat writers turned to the players to get the inside information, only to find none of them had any insights either. According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette who has spoken to a number of veteran players in the wake of this ESPN revelation, no one in the locker room appears to have heard from Bell.
Not Ramon Foster, who also seemed underwhelmed by the reported news of his teammates return
“No I have not talked to him. No, no, I haven’t. There’s nothing beyond that.
“No reaction. Man, we have a lot of stuff in house we have to deal with more than anything. If he shows up, that’ll be awesome, if he chooses to come later, that’s cool too. Our job right now is to win these games that are in front of us until he does. We’ll see how it goes when he gets here. He’ll be our teammate. We’ll see what his thinking is, ask him more questions, I guess. We can’t look ahead to that.”
Nor Maurkice Pouncey, even if he was a bit more reconciliatory about a reunion.
“No, we haven’t talked.
“We love Le’Veon. I think sometimes people get it misconstrued how much we care about him. We want all the best for him, you know what I mean? But people take things the wrong way some time. ... we understand both sides of it and once he does report, trust me, he’ll be welcome with open arms and I’m pretty sure everybody on the team will accept him.”
“We’ve done a lot of great things with Le’Veon. Sometimes you let some things get in the way, but he’s been a heck of a player here, great teammate. We’ll never forget that. Trust me, I’m pretty sure when he comes back I’m pretty sure everybody will be totally fine with it.”
Reporting similar responses from the rest of the team, Bouchette fail to find a name of the locker room who had spoken to Bell, also noting that coaching staff members who had tried texts or other forms of communication also had not heard back.
While it could be conceivable that Bell was looking to gauge the reaction of the team to his news before contacting them directly, it is just as likely the back has already changed his mind about reporting or maybe never had any plans to return in the first place. Given his stance a few weeks ago about wanting to preserve his body, making himself available in Week 7 is illogical, but to be fair, nothing about this saga has made much sense so far.