The man who likes to say “business is booming” arguably should be minding his own business.
“Well, the first rule of getting better is showing up,” Brown said regarding Bell. “You can’t make anything better without showing up. So I think if you show up, I think everyone will understand where you want to be. That you wants to be here not just this year but for years to come. Come out here and show up, show you want to get better and show guys you’re serious.”
Last year, Brown waited until training camp to begin a public campaign to cajole Bell into showing up. The comments emerged as part of what seemed to be an effort by the team to get Bell to sign his franchise tender or risk the ire of the fan base.
Ultimately, Bell’s absence traces to the team’s decision to use the franchise tag for a second straight year. If the Steelers think he wants too much money, they should have let him hit the open market and signed him to a new deal once he realized that he had overestimated the demand for his services.
Instead, the Steelers restricted Bell’s ability to leave. And the chosen device gives Bell the ability to stay away until Labor Day, if he wants. It’s his only leverage, his only way to get the kind of long-term deal that he thinks he deserves.
So if Brown has concerns about Bell not being there, Brown shouldn’t be publicly (or privately) pressuring Bell to show up, where he’d perhaps tear an ACL. Brown should be pressuring the front office to take care of Bell the same way the front office has taken care of Brown. Twice.