clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Steelers fans believe the offense can still produce without Le’Veon Bell

New, comments

The general consensus of the fan base is the Steelers offense would be just fine without Le’Veon Bell.

NFL: New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Anger can do terrible things to the human mind.

It can cause you to be irrational, not think clearly and to ignore facts to somehow aide in your own personal agenda or way of thinking.

In my opinion, this is exactly what is going on with Pittsburgh Steelers fans as the Le’Veon Bell saga rages on for the second straight season.

In a way, I get it. Fans are upset. They want players who are loyal to the black-and-gold, thinking about the team more than they do their own personal bank account. If a player doesn’t jive with this sentiment, get ready to see the pitchforks and torches leading the mobs to those social media platforms where irrational thoughts are the norm, and logical thinking is shunned.

Over a week ago I asked our Twitter followers (@btsteelcurtain if you don’t follow us already) if they thought the Steelers offense would be able to see success without Le’Veon Bell.

Here is what they thought:

I have to admit, even though this poll only had 1,120 votes, I was surprised the results weren’t closer to 50/50. There are those out there who think Le’Veon Bell is replaceable, but I never thought a whopping 66-percent of fans on Twitter would think the offense wouldn’t miss a beat with No. 26 wearing different threads next season.

To me, this must be a joke. While I understand the fan base’s frustration with Bell, his comments and his overall demeanor in contract negotiations, I never understood how fans can overlook his play on the field.

Yes, I know his yards-per-carry average dipped below 4-yards this season, and I realize players like Alvin Kamara were better catching the football out of the backfield, but can you really be so angry you don’t see how good Bell is on the field??

Bell certainly has brought many headaches to the organization, but his play on the field has been nothing short of spectacular. I can spew the statistics out, and there will be plenty of statistics saying Bell isn’t that important, but I ask fans to just rely on the eye test.

Yes, Kamara is great out of the backfield catching the ball, and Todd Gurley is a monster running the football between the tackles, but is there a back out there who does both as well as Le’Veon Bell?

Not someone who is currently employed by an NFL team.

Bell does it all, and he is very good at almost everything. He is a tremendous at blitz pickup, running in between the tackles and outside the tackles, and his pass catching skills have been on display more than once.

Yes, he does it all.

And this is what fans should always remember. Could the Pittsburgh offense be able to survive without No. 26? Maybe, but it wouldn’t be nearly as prolific.

Some point to DeAngelo Williams stepping in during Bell’s suspension and knee injury, but you also have to remember the offense had to change with it. Bell is the type of player you don’t just replace with one other player. No, it would take 2-3 players to replace his production on the football field.

The Steelers need Bell, and he knows it...hence the current contract squabbling by the All-Pro running back. While it is doubtful a long-term contract is done anytime soon, fans shouldn’t be so short-sighted to suggest the Steelers offense will be just fine with James Conner, and some other players who may be added to the lineup through free agency and/or the NFL Draft.

Plain and simple, the Steelers are better with Bell, compared to without him. Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and JuJu Smith-Schuster are capable of keeping the offense afloat, but without the threat of a running game things can get ugly quick.

Hate Bell all you want, but let’s not downgrade his skill on the field over off-field issues. He is still the best running back in the game today.