There is a common style of verbal communication most call ‘Coach Speak’. This is when a coach, of any sport, answers a question with a hundred words, but only to say nothing at all.
If you’ve every watched Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin at the mic, you know exactly what I’m talking about. His many Tomlinisms such as:
“The standard is the standard”
“We will leave the light on for him”
“Practice participation will dictate his overall status for the game”
I could go on, but we all know how those press conferences go, and Tomlin isn’t alone. All the quotes you’ve heard/read from the Baltimore Ravens leading up to Week 9 have been the same song and dance.
“Ben Roethlisberger is SOOOOOOO good.” (paraphrasing)
“James Conner is THE MAN!!” (paraphrasing again)
The Ravens know how to handle the media leading up to a Steelers vs. Ravens game, but maybe someone didn’t let defensive coordinator Wink Martindale know. He was very candid when he was asked about Le’Veon Bell, and his absence.
Take a look for yourself:
Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale on absent Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell: "There are a lot of stats [since 2015] that the Steelers are actually better without him. That might be why he’s riding a jet ski down in Miami right now."— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) November 1, 2018
Just read that again...
“There are a lot of stats [since 2015] that the Steelers are actually better without him. That might be why he’s riding a jet ski down in Miami right now.”
In fact, heading into last week’s contest vs. the Browns, CBS Sports produced the following statistics which might actually support Martindale’s theory.
However, this situation shows Bell isn’t just getting a verbal lashing from everyone in the Steelers’ broad fan base, but now from the Ravens’ coaching staff too? Ouch.
Whether this was Bell’s ultimate plan or not, you have to wonder how the All-Pro running back is handling the situation. Every week he misses doesn’t just come with less money in his bank account, but heaps of criticism. All while sitting and watching James Conner make a name for himself at his position, and making fans believe the Steelers are actually better off WITHOUT him.
Bell has gambled on himself before, but nothing like this. When the opposition is even criticizing you, that might be a new low.