clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

No Worries: Steelers OC Todd Haley has faith in the RBs

New, comments

A big source of concern for fans has been Le'Veon Bell's suspension and what that might mean for the Steelers offense during the first three games. Todd Haley isn't concerned. In comments to the media yesterday, he provided reassurance-- Bob Marley style-- and indicated that everything is going to be alright.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Todd Haley didn't use Bob Marley's exact words and tell fans not to worry about a thing, but he did provide a bit of reassurance about the situation at running back in statements he made via TribLive.com.

Star RB Le'Veon Bell will be serving his suspension the first three games of the season for his August 2014 display of horrendously bad judgment when he and LaGarrette "No, I'm the Star" Blount thought it would be cool to drive around smoking dope right before departing town for a preseason game. Bell has reexamined his priorities, so it seems he has learned his lesson. Likewise, the early twenties can be a really, really dumb time in people's lives. There is still a lot of brain development going on, so I have hope that the August 2014 indiscretion will be an isolated incident.

Hope for a smarter future aside, the fact remains that Bell will be sitting out for the Patriots, 49ers, and Rams.

Here are five reasons fans should relax about the RB corps:

1) We have DeAngelo Williams.

He's been pretty low-key on Twitter lately, but Williams has been outspoken about his abilities and plans to contribute in interviews and on social media. Todd Haley also has faith in the former Panther, "DeAngelo is an accomplished running back in this league. This is a pass catcher also. You might not feature him, but I think he is going to be where he needs to be, and he will make plays afterwards."

A vote of confidence from the OC himself should be comforting for fans. Haley also highlighted some specific strengths of Williams' game: he's experienced, versatile and reliable.

2) The situation at RB is a known quantity.

Last year, Blount walked off the field and was subsequently fired (Hired by the Patriots almost immediately. I'm sure that wasn't in the works before the moment he was fired. I wrote that second sentence sarcastically in case it wasn't clear.)  That was an unexpected development for the Steelers, though they clearly made adequate adjustments to continue on the season successfully.

Todd Haley said, again via TribLive.com, "I am a lot more confident than where we were last year. That's a good thing. We didn't have any warning (LeGarrette Blount's cut) was going to happen last year, and you are in the midst of a season and practicing with the guys you are going to play with so it was a little different of a situation."

3) Bell and Williams are not the only two RBs on the Steelers

That would be a bit weird-- a team with two RBs. There is other talent that Haley is checking out during OTAs. He said, "In training camp we are splitting reps, and we are trying to evaluate guys. We have to get everybody ready and make decisions on who the best guys are."  Bottom line: There are more options including Josh Harris and Dri Archer.

4) The first three opponents might be weak.

I put "might" in there not to jinx anything and because it is still unknown whether or not Tom Brady's suspension will stand. That said, we face the Patriots in week one. LaGarrette Blount is out (for the same shenanigans as Bell) and Tom Brady should be serving his suspension. Additionally, the Patriots are struggling tremendously in the secondary, particularly at cornerback. Second week: 49ers. There is currently a mass-exodus from their team and are suffering from debilitating personnel problems. Third week: The Rams. Their defense is terrifying, but their offense has been shaky. This could end up being a tough game, but the Rams lose a lot, so that is a source of comfort.

5) A suspension means rest and recovery for Bell

The suspension is not idea, but he will be starting game four very fresh. If his knee still isn't completely recovered by the first game, additional rest to ensure he has a healthy season could be a silver lining to his suspension.