Big Ben: James Conner shouldn’t be on shelf if Le’Veon Bell’s back

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The most recent report about running back Le'Veon Bell‘s plans for the remainder of the season have been that he plans to report to the Steelers during their Week Seven bye and play out the rest of the season with the team.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said on Tuesday that he hasn’t spoken to Bell and does not know if that is his plan, but he does know that he doesn’t think Bell should get all the work in the backfield when and if he does show up for work. During an appearance on 93.7 The Fan, Roethlisberger said James Conner should not go “on the shelf by any means.”

“Now granted, I think Le’Veon’s one of the best in the business, I think we all understand that and can agree on that,” Roethlisberger said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “But what James needs to understand — and he’s gonna say the right things, and he should [as] a younger guy with a veteran, awesome football player ahead of him — but when Le’Veon comes back, in no way, shape or form should James just say, ‘OK, it’s all yours. I’m gonna sit back and when you need me, use me.’ And I will push for James to get as much run as we can because we’ve seen some great things from him in all phases of football. He’s picking up blitzes, he’s catching the ball, he’s running hard and making plays and playing with a passion, so we need to keep using that.”

Conner has 84 carries for 342 yards and five touchdowns and 22 catches for 239 yards this season. Given that production and Bell’s long layoff, it would seem likely that he’d continue to play a role on offense should Bell decide to rejoin him on the depth chart.

42 responses to “Big Ben: James Conner shouldn’t be on shelf if Le’Veon Bell’s back

  1. I have no doubts that Bell would be fine with that. The whole purpose of the hold out was to limit touches and avoid injury. Bell has put plenty on tape already for the next team.

  2. Bell will likely be inactive when he returns because he is out of shape. Let Connor carry the load and work Bell in if he earns the playing time. That is a big if because who knows if he’ll even show up.

  3. Football is becoming a sport designed by lawyers, managed by marketing executives, and played by people who hate the country where it’s played. So exciting.

  4. “The whole purpose of the hold out was to limit touches and avoid injury.”
    _______________

    I’m sure that is how he looks at it. It’s also totally the wrong approach if he wants a huge deal. Based on some of the recent photos out there, he’s going to show up out-of-shape. He’ll get limited snaps and the season will end with Conner looking like the superior back. Then Bell is going to be shocked he doesn’t get the huge offers he’s been expecting.

  5. Football is becoming a sport designed by lawyers, managed by marketing executives, and played by people who hate the country where it’s played. So exciting.

    Hey MR.X , Take your politics somewhere else

  6. How long will it be before players have written in their contracts how many plays or games they have to participate in in a season.

  7. 6burgh says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:27 am
    Absolutely. He’s put the work in. Talent doesn’t mean anything without the practice.

    ——————————————–

    I’m sure you said that about Walter Jones as he marched to a career with 1 sack allowed for every 240 passing plays, and those 9 holding calls in 180 games sure set the team back. Good thing he was practicing all the time am and not holding out year after year until it became a punchline right?

  8. redlava316 says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:41 am
    Shut up drama queen and worry about yourself

    ——————-

    While I agree that he’s a drama queen, Ben is right about this.

  9. The Steelers seem to be getting it together with James Connor as the #1 RB. If they want the best way to keep it going, they will stick with Connor, and Bell will be secondary. Bell isn’t going to be around after this season anyway.

  10. Headline is misleading. Notice in the quote Ben says “WHEN Le’Veon comes back” but the headline says “IF”.

  11. The job should be Conner’s and Bell should only play to give him a breather. Bell is gone next year and he’s going to complain about getting more than ten carries a game so let him sit on the sidelines. Then we can listen to him complain about he’s not getting enough numbers so he can con some team out of a truckload of money. No, it’s Conner’s job and Bell should only play when he needs a break. Conner can probably benefit from more reps since he’s their RB now, not Bell. Conner should get 80% of the snaps. End of story.

  12. The Steelers have already moved on from Bell. This stopped being about Le’Veon once the season started. They may not be better without him, but Bell didn’t accept the Steeler’s more than fair offer, so it’s Connor’s time to put the team on his back.

  13. redlava316 says:
    October 10, 2018 at 11:08 am
    While I agree that he’s a drama queen, Ben is right about this.

    Yeah ok whatever, Just get ready for Showtime Sunday Night!!!
    A red wave is coming

    Well I think the drama queen has far more wins in January than the Bengirls have in their team history so talk is cheep. Every knows the Bungals will fold like a starched sheet in Jan if they make it. Ya everyone is really worried.of a red wave…red tide maybe but not a red wave.

  14. steelerdeathstar says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:58 am
    The Steelers seem to be getting it together with James Connor as the #1 RB.
    ———————————-
    Getting it together? They beat the paper-tiger Falcons. That’s their “signature” win this season. Slow your roll.

  15. amurdora says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:55 am
    6burgh says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:27 am
    Absolutely. He’s put the work in. Talent doesn’t mean anything without the practice.

    ——————————————–

    I’m sure you said that about Walter Jones as he marched to a career with 1 sack allowed for every 240 passing plays, and those 9 holding calls in 180 games sure set the team back. Good thing he was practicing all the time am and not holding out year after year until it became a punchline right?

    2 7 Rate This

    To be perfectly honest. I had no idea about Walter Jones’ situation until you just mentioned it to me. So thanks for the football knowledge. 🙂

  16. 6burgh says:
    October 10, 2018 at 10:27 am
    Absolutely. He’s put the work in. Talent doesn’t mean anything without the practise.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________

    But we’re talking about practice 6burgh, we’re not even talking about the game… the actual game, when it matters… We’re talking about practice …

    I don’t know any franchise players that come off the bench. I don’t know any All-Pros that comes off the bench. I don’t know any Pro-Bowlers that comes off the bench. I don’t know any former MVP that comes off the bench. I don’t know any three-time All-Purpose yards league leaders that comes off the bench. I don’t know any first team All-Pro that comes off the bench. Why Le’Veon Bell?

  17. redlava316 says:
    October 10, 2018 at 11:08 am
    While I agree that he’s a drama queen, Ben is right about this.

    Yeah ok whatever, Just get ready for Showtime Sunday Night!!!
    A red wave is coming

    ——————

    It wouldn’t be anything new if Belichick outsmarted Reid, but it still comes down to execution. I’ll give KC the edge there.

  18. dabears7190 says:
    October 10, 2018 at 11:17 am
    The Steelers have already moved on from Bell. This stopped being about Le’Veon once the season started. They may not be better without him, but Bell didn’t accept the Steeler’s more than fair offer, so it’s Connor’s time to put the team on his back.

    ——————–

    I think the cap space helps them long term more than Bell ever could. Besides, what hardware do the Steelers have to show for Bell’s tenure with the team?

  19. A legit organization wouldn’t put Bell back on the field…it just sends the wrong message to reward a player for skipping out on the team…that being said…this isn’t the Perennial Superbowl contending Steelers we were used to not too long ago, so I fully expect them to cave and put Bell on the field…

  20. Conner is the hot hand at running back and you have to ride with him. As talented as Le’Veon Bell is he’s not committed to the team, he’s committed to getting to free agency and getting the most he can’t (which I guarantee won’t be anywhere near as much as he wants/expects).

  21. 6burgh says:
    October 10, 2018 at 11:32 am

    To be perfectly honest. I had no idea about Walter Jones’ situation until you just mentioned it to me. So thanks for the football knowledge. 🙂

    —————————-

    Honestly the only reason I know is my best friend is a maniac Seahawks fan always reminds me of him when talking about how great the Seahawks are. I’ll grant you very very very few NFL players are the monster that Jones was but if anyone can do it it’s Bell.

  22. Bell has overplayed his hand and the money he thinks he deserves
    isn’t going to be there from anyone.

    Players come and go but the NFL keeps going….
    nobody will remember Bell in 10 years

  23. Rescind the offer or trade him. Unused money rolls over to next year and what with they won’t pay him now and in ’19 and with Shazier off the books, Steelers will have almost $40M to play with and actually sign someone. They don’t do it often but they have done it. Kevin Greene was great in his window here.

  24. Why should they start Bell if he returns? Bell is just going to go sign elsewhere next year. Commit to the guy who is going to be with the team now and into the future. Ben and the other players understand this intuitively; the suits need to fall in line.

  25. Steelers will trade Bell if anyone coughs up a 2nd for a rental player. Otherwise, they are stuck with this malingerer. If he does play in Pittsburgh, expect Conner to get much better blocking than Leavinow Bell

  26. Bell through 5 games in 2017 4.03 yards per touch and 3TDs. James Conner through 5 in 2018 5.48 yards per touch and 5TDs. Le’veon was also less prolific in college than Conner. The notion that he is more talented is a myth based on his volume.

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