Running back Le'Veon Bell has engaged in a replay of last offseason since getting another franchise tag from the Steelers and that means he has yet to work with the team this offseason.
Bell stayed away for all of training camp and the preseason before reporting ahead of the regular season opener in September. The offense scuffled in that game — an 18-16 win over the Browns — and again in an overtime loss to the Bears in Week 3 in experiences that guard Ramon Foster said left the team with a lesson about not expecting the running back to do it all right off the bat.
“Reflecting on what transpired last year — and we did play against some good defenses early in the year, I will say — but I think we have to know we have to bring it a little more than them,” Foster said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “As great as Le’Veon is, we have to supplement what he does also. We have to make his job a lot easier. The fact that he’s not here, all of us are OK with that because we know what he’s bringing to the table. He comes right every year. He might take time to get going, but we have to be better prepared for that.”
It’s the sort of thing that may be easier said than done given Bell’s outsize role in the Steelers offense, but all current signs suggest it is one that the Steelers will have to do all the same.