Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had more to say about running back Le'Veon Bell‘s return than his coach did, and he’s clearly not ready to panic.
After putting the off in offseason while waiting to sign his $12.1 million franchise tender, Bell had just 10 carries for 32 yards in Sunday’s narrow win over the Browns. But during his weekly appearance on 93.7 The Fan, Roethlisberger said it was more a function of the Steelers using more four-wide receiver sets than Bell being rusty (though Bell was obviously rusty).
“The biggest thing for me when we get out there is communication,” Roethlisberger said, via Sean Gentille of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Is he asking a lot of questions? Is he looking bug-eyed, if you will, when plays are called or things like that? And there was none of that. I thought there was great communication, so in that sense I think we were on the same page. . . .
“It’s a patience thing. … We still won the game and that should be all that matters. We need to be a selfless group, and we need to all understand that there’s gonna be days when [Bell’s] gonna have two, 300 yards rushing [and Antonio Brown] AB’s gonna have 10 yards receiving. Whatever it is. There’s a lot of guys on this team that are really just winning and able to sacrifice stats for winning, and we all are ready to do that. That’s what we need to do; we all just need to be a selfless group.
“And I’m not saying that Le’veon’s having any issue. I’m just telling you that that’s the way this offense and this team is.”
Brown having 11 catches for 182 yards certainly helps, and for the moment makes it easier for Roethlisberger to declare that all is well.