2018 Steelers: For Whom the Bell Tolls

NYCSox

chris hansen of goats
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
May 19, 2004
8,294
Some fancy town in CT
It's time for another wild ride with the boys from the Burgh. Frankly, I have no idea what to expect other than a likely playoff berth, most likely as a division winner. After that, the variability of the team is off the charts. They could give up 45 points to some shitty QB in the playoffs and get knocked out or rain 50 on everyone and win the SB.

First the good news. This should be another very productive season for the Killer Bs even if they run Bell into the ground in what appears to be his last season with the club. The WR weapons after Brown are tremendous led by Smith-Schuster who figures to build on his impressive rookie season. Don't lose sight of James Washington who figures to get a lot of touches in the old Martavis Bryant role. Assuming Vance McDonald stays healthy (big if), he and Jesse James will rack up a number of plays down the middle of the field. The OL is intact for another season and is easily one of the top five units in the NFL. Of course Ben is Ben and assuming good health (once again big if) he is poised for another big season.

Special teams are solid. Chris Boswell is one of the top kickers in the league at least inside 50 yards. Jordan Berry is a solid punter. The coverage units are solid and DH Bey does yeoman's work in that regard. I don't think Brown will be used much as a PR so it will be important to get some production from other(s) who will fill that role. Schuster is a dangerous KR but since that skill set is being phased out of the NFL it's not clear how much value that will bring.

Now the not so good news. Jon Bostic can't replace Ryan Shazier. And without Shazier the opponents short passing game can thrive as we saw in the playoffs. Hopefully the coaching staff can for once figure out a way to scheme around problems like this. Otherwise there is plenty of skill elsewhere on the defense, including Watt, Heyward, Hargraves, Tuitt, Haden, Burns, Davis and DuPree. If they can get a consistent pass rush without blitzing too much then there is a chance they can have an above average defense which will make them a viable SB threat.

No changes to the coaching staff. I generally like Tomlin though I cringe at some of his tactical maneuvering at times. Frankly when I look around and see some of the other less than bright minds who are NFL coaches, I feel a little bit better. Kevin Butler has to earn his pay this season. He struggled to come up with schemes after Shazier went down and it cost them big time in the playoffs. Hopefully he's had enough time to put some tings in place.

* Title of thread came to me this morning on the way to work with Metallica playing on the radio in the car. But it seemed very appropriate for this squad as well.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
39,344
deep inside Guido territory

JMDurron

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
4,731
Montgomery, Alabama
Is that really such an unreasonable idea, as drones become more common and presumably smaller over time? Some cheap/incompetent team that doesn’t want to bother hiring sufficiently numerous and/or qualified scouts and coaches (hello, state of Ohio) could easily decide that having some intern try to record Steelers practices would be a great idea.

EDIT - Just saw the picture and now see how pointless that tarp would be for anything other than the office building next door. So, unless said intern was a complete moron, not too useful.
 
Last edited:

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
31,506
Still no Le'Veon. This is starting to get interesting. He has until Saturday to show up to avoid getting fined. Would be interesting if he did that. Do they just plop him right in or do they go with Conner?
 

sodenj5

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
3,869
CT
From what I've read, if he doesn't sign by 4pm today he is ineligible for Sunday's game.
My fantasy team is unhappy. I think he’s using this week to “send a message.”

Low chance that the Steelers lose to Cleveland. He reduces his total workload this year by maybe 25-30 touches.

They have the Chiefs Week 2 and the Ravens Week 4. I would be surprised if he isn’t back for KC in Week 2 and shocked if he isn’t back by Week 4 for a divisional game.
 

dcmissle

Deflatigator
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 4, 2005
27,854
Interesting. So, if he reports tomorrow, he doesn't get fined but can't play? Sounds like this could be a multi-week thing.
Correct. No fines unless and until he signs the tender. I believe that if he comes in by week 10, he nets a qualified year under the labor agreement.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
14,723
Correct. No fines unless and until he signs the tender. I believe that if he comes in by week 10, he nets a qualified year under the labor agreement.
Yeah week 10 is the deadline.
Not sure how reliable SteelersNation is, but they are saying that they don't expect him to show until close to week 10. Sacrifice 8M in salary to keep the Steelers from running him into the ground.
 

sodenj5

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
3,869
CT
What’s interesting is that it seems the Steelers are a team that should be all in for 2018 and 2019.

The Ben, Brown and Bell window is closing. I understand that paying a RB 15MM/season isn’t ideal for team building, but Bell is also their second best receiver and could help ease the transition once Ben finally hangs it up.

If Bell holds out up to Week 10, he would miss 5 divisional games and games against KC and Jacksonville.

He can then conceivably walk away as a free agent and if Roethlisberger retires, you’re looking at a full on Steelers reboot.
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
12,076
Mansfield MA
What’s interesting is that it seems the Steelers are a team that should be all in for 2018 and 2019.

The Ben, Brown and Bell window is closing. I understand that paying a RB 15MM/season isn’t ideal for team building, but Bell is also their second best receiver and could help ease the transition once Ben finally hangs it up.
Agreed from a football standpoint, but overthecap.com has Pittsburgh 30th in effective cap space for 2019 with ~$3 MM. They already have six other players scheduled to make $10 MM+ (with both Roethlisberger and Brown over $20 MM). Certainly there are things they can do to clear some of that up, but they have some cap challenges that will make giving Bell what he wants problematic.
 

sodenj5

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
3,869
CT
Agreed from a football standpoint, but overthecap.com has Pittsburgh 30th in effective cap space for 2019 with ~$3 MM. They already have six other players scheduled to make $10 MM+ (with both Roethlisberger and Brown over $20 MM). Certainly there are things they can do to clear some of that up, but they have some cap challenges that will make giving Bell what he wants problematic.
That’s with Bell under contract. You cut Joe Haden and rescind Bud Dupree’s option and that frees up roughly 19 million next year.

I think for Bell, you find a way to make it work.
 

johnmd20

literally like ebola
Lifetime Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2003
38,384
New York City
Now the offensive lineman Ramon Foster is talking shit about Bell, calling him selfish. This wasn't a story and now it's a big one.
 

koufax32

He'll cry if he wants to...
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2006
6,930
Duval
This may be a wise move for Bell overall. Everyone has been talking about PIT letting him walk after this season and riding him like a rented mule. How do you make sure that doesn’t happen? Play x games instead of 16 plus playoffs.
I loathe that team so you go Le’Veon! Stick it to The Man!
 

sodenj5

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
3,869
CT
Maurkice Pouncey continues to be a piece of shit. The Pounceys are the fucking worst.
Pouncey is a huge voice in that locker room, for better or worse. You’ve got vets, and more importantly the O Lineman turning on him.

There might be no road to recovery for Bell and the Steelers.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
10,009
Is there a team out there that is going to give Bell what he wants next year when he hits free agency? Sitting out this season and missing paychecks to save your body is fine and dandy when you know your going to get a big extension next season, but is a team going to give him that big of an extension, particularly one large enough to cover the loss he will take this year? The last time I can remember an all-pro RB hitting Free Agency was DeMarco Murrary, and that was a 5 year, $42 million deal that Philadelphia almost instantly regretted. Is a team going to shell out for that much money for a 27 year old running back?
 

sodenj5

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
3,869
CT
It is not, he's not under contract for 2019.


Those are obvious moves, but they also only have 38 players under contract for 2019 as of now. It is an ugly cap situation.
You’re correct. I was looking at 2018 numbers. They’re in a tough spot.
 

sodenj5

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
3,869
CT
Is there a team out there that is going to give Bell what he wants next year when he hits free agency? Sitting out this season and missing paychecks to save your body is fine and dandy when you know your going to get a big extension next season, but is a team going to give him that big of an extension, particularly one large enough to cover the loss he will take this year? The last time I can remember an all-pro RB hitting Free Agency was DeMarco Murrary, and that was a 5 year, $42 million deal that Philadelphia almost instantly regretted. Is a team going to shell out for that much money for a 27 year old running back?
Jets, Colts, and Texans are all projected to have a ton of cap space.

I can see the Jets paying Bell to give Darnold a legit weapon or the Texans while they have Watson on his rookie deal. They’re closer to being a legit contender.
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
31,506
Jets, Colts, and Texans are all projected to have a ton of cap space.

I can see the Jets paying Bell to give Darnold a legit weapon or the Texans while they have Watson on his rookie deal. They’re closer to being a legit contender.
Texans make the most sense to me. Lamar Miller isn't terrible but Bell would be a big upgrade there and they have a limited window given Watt's declining health and Watson's rookie contract.

10 weeks is an eternity. If Le'Veon sits out until Week 10, he might never get the job back given that he's clearly not coming back next year.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

posts 18% useful shit
SoSH Member
Nov 17, 2010
10,701
Pouncey is a huge voice in that locker room, for better or worse. You’ve got vets, and more importantly the O Lineman turning on him.

There might be no road to recovery for Bell and the Steelers.
Players almost always side with other players. Nearly universally when they're teammates. With next years 7 million in guarantees, Pouncey will have earned nearly double what Bell has earned in his career at a position where he should be able to play for several years longer than Bell.

God forbid Bell tries to keep himself safe for his payday after the Steelers have ridden him from year to year for the last 6 years.

Again, fuck Pouncey.
 

dcmissle

Deflatigator
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 4, 2005
27,854
Pouncey is a huge voice in that locker room, for better or worse. You’ve got vets, and more importantly the O Lineman turning on him.

There might be no road to recovery for Bell and the Steelers.
This is rare. For the most part NFL players respect each other’s business decisions and don’t mess with each other’s money.

This is not a holdout. There is no contract unless and until he signs the tender or reaches another agreement with Pittsburgh.

Everything he is doing he has an absolute right to do under the CBA, including returning in week 10 if he wishes.

I honestly don’t get the player reactions. Fans I figure to be self centered a-holes, players no.
 

Gash Prex

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 18, 2002
1,762
Remember when Brady didn't attend voluntary OTAs...that was quite the story.

Not sure why anybody would defend Bell in this instance - he has the opportunity to make 12-13 million this year but declined. He has a franchise tender for 14 million but won't report. What else should the team do?
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

posts 18% useful shit
SoSH Member
Nov 17, 2010
10,701
Remember when Brady didn't attend voluntary OTAs...that was quite the story.

Not sure why anybody would defend Bell in this instance - he has the opportunity to make 12-13 million this year but declined. He has a franchise tender for 14 million but won't report. What else should the team do?
Nobodies saying the team did anything wrong. People shouldn't be saying Bell is doing anything wrong, either. People are saying that Pouncey should shut the fuck up.

This is how the business works.
 

Reverend

for king and country
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Nobodies saying the team did anything wrong. People shouldn't be saying Bell is doing anything wrong, either. People are saying that Pouncey should shut the fuck up.

This is how the business works.
I didn't think players usually meddled with other players' money in a negative fashion.

Positive? Like Cabrera threatening Manny if he didn't get back in the lineup because the playoff pay meant more to him or Brady protesting for other players? Sure. Negative? That don't seem right.
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
12,076
Mansfield MA
Nobodies saying the team did anything wrong. People shouldn't be saying Bell is doing anything wrong, either. People are saying that Pouncey should shut the fuck up.

This is how the business works.
It's not just Pouncey, though.

Ramon Foster: “He’s making 7 times what I make twice as much as Al (Villanueva) is making and we’re the guys who do it for him.”

David DeCastro: "We all thought he'd be here today. He makes us all kind of look stupid a little bit."

https://www.thescore.com/nfl/news/1598988/steelers-o-line-blasts-bell-for-holdout-just-sit-out-the-whole-year

Remember when Brady didn't attend voluntary OTAs...that was quite the story.
I had the same thought. But while the Steelers tend to air out more of their dirty laundry than NE, at the end of the day they have a similar ability to work past it.
 

sodenj5

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
3,869
CT
I agree that Bell’s shelf life is probably short, especially as a guy that amassed the amount of touches he has and with a previous injury history, so he has every right to try and maximize his value.

It sounds like a lot of his teammates were expecting him to be there by today and they are angry that he either misled them or flat out lied to them.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

posts 18% useful shit
SoSH Member
Nov 17, 2010
10,701
It's not just Pouncey, though.

Ramon Foster: “He’s making 7 times what I make twice as much as Al (Villanueva) is making and we’re the guys who do it for him.”

David DeCastro: "We all thought he'd be here today. He makes us all kind of look stupid a little bit."

https://www.thescore.com/nfl/news/1598988/steelers-o-line-blasts-bell-for-holdout-just-sit-out-the-whole-year


I had the same thought. But while the Steelers tend to air out more of their dirty laundry than NE, at the end of the day they have a similar ability to work past it.
Yeah, heres the thing. This is an orchestrated hit by the offensive line, and Pounceys their leader. All of these guys come out on the same day and say this shit, it's not a coincidence.

It is, however, confounding considering a year ago Pouncey seemed to completely understand the dynamics at play for Bell:

On respecting Bell's decision: "People catch feelings about certain things. I think anybody in his situation would do the same exact thing. I would.
There's a business part. At the end of the day, it doesn't look like it on [the team executives'] side because they sit up there in the office every single day. As a player, you try to go out there and get as much as you can. Especially with the things that Le'Veon has been through and the production he's put on the football field, he deserves a big-time contract. Who in the NFL wouldn't say that? At the end of the day, it's a business.
"Trust me, L. Bell wants to be here. He wants to be a football player, he wants to be the best running back in the NFL. At the same time, it's business. ... The fans don't [understand]. But we do."
While the heel turn is entertaining, its bullshit. Nothing has changed between now and then, and I'd argue it's even more important for Bell to hold out now that it's becoming clear Pittsburgh wont be giving him a big extension prior to the season. Yet here Pouncey is, orchestrating a character assassination for something he would do himself.

Hes an asshole.
 

Vinho Tinto

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 9, 2003
5,671
Auburn, MA
Yeah, heres the thing. This is an orchestrated hit by the offensive line, and Pounceys their leader. All of these guys come out on the same day and say this shit, it's not a coincidence.
Yes, it’s not a coincidence they started speaking out against him when his holdout bled into missing regular season games.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

Homeland Security
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2005
17,726
Portsmouth, NH
Yeah, heres the thing. This is an orchestrated hit by the offensive line, and Pounceys their leader. All of these guys come out on the same day and say this shit, it's not a coincidence.

It is, however, confounding considering a year ago Pouncey seemed to completely understand the dynamics at play for Bell:







While the heel turn is entertaining, its bullshit. Nothing has changed between now and then, and I'd argue it's even more important for Bell to hold out now that it's becoming clear Pittsburgh wont be giving him a big extension prior to the season. Yet here Pouncey is, orchestrating a character assassination for something he would do himself.

Hes an asshole.
Or, Bell is an ass hole too, as soden alludes to. I don't argue that the Pouncey's are ass holes, I just don't feel the need to lay this particular situation all at his feet, especially given the the quick turn around on stance.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

posts 18% useful shit
SoSH Member
Nov 17, 2010
10,701
Or, Bell is an ass hole too, as soden alludes to. I don't argue that the Pouncey's are ass holes, I just don't feel the need to lay this particular situation all at his feet, especially given the the quick turn around on stance.
Maybe Bell is the biggest piece of shit in the league. I have no idea. It doesnt change the dynamics of the situation. Pouncey is wrong to speak out here.

Hes more wrong because hes already gotten his big payday, has made double what Bell has earned, and due to the nature of his position will get another big payday before his career ends.

Hes even more wrong because hes a hypocrite and already acknowledged last year that he would do the same fucking thing.

And hes even MORE more wrong because he'll go to the mat for guys like Aaron Hernandez even after being convicted, but he'll throw teammates under the bus over the business side of football.

Fuck. Maurice. Pouncey.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

Homeland Security
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2005
17,726
Portsmouth, NH
Maybe Bell is the biggest piece of shit in the league. I have no idea. It doesnt change the dynamics of the situation. Pouncey is wrong to speak out here.

Hes more wrong because hes already gotten his big payday and, due to the nature of his position, will get another one before his career ends.

Hes even more wrong because hes a hypocrite and already acknowledged last year that he would do the same fucking thing.

And hes even MORE more wrong because he'll go to the mat for guys like Aaron Hernandez even after being convicted, but he'll throw teammates under the bus over the business side of football.

Fuck. Maurice. Pouncey.
Dude, I'm not defending Pouncey isn't an ass hole. In fact, the post you quoted said he and his brother are. I'm simply saying perhaps there's more to it than him being an ass hole?

I get where you're coming from, but I find it tough to believe that multiple players spoke out on same day based primarily on his guidance. There's a breaking point for anyone and Bell has thin ice on this subject; if he's lying to his teammates, I'm not sure I have a problem with them speaking out about it.

I totally agree the players should get what they can, but there's a line at some point, in my opinion. There's also a lot we don't know and these seems like that's the case to me. YMMV.
 

soxin6

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
2,813
Huntington Beach, CA
There were reports that Bell had indicated to his teammates that he would come in and report today. Once he didn't do that and his agent spoke to the media, I am not surprised that they felt betrayed. It makes sense for Bell to do this from a business sense, but if the O-Line turns on him he could see a decline in production that impacts his FA value.
 

dcmissle

Deflatigator
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 4, 2005
27,854
Things change. Mack shooting himself out of Oakland and into a record contract is one of them. No, the situations are not comparable because Mack had massively more leverage than Bell has, at least for now.

But that’s Bell’s call — not his teammates’.

If they give him crap, he should simply rattle off the name Alfred Morris and others.
 
Last edited:

koufax32

He'll cry if he wants to...
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2006
6,930
Duval
There were reports that Bell had indicated to his teammates that he would come in and report today. Once he didn't do that and his agent spoke to the media, I am not surprised that they felt betrayed. It makes sense for Bell to do this from a business sense, but if the O-Line turns on him he could see a decline in production that impacts his FA value.

How would the o-line being pissed at him affect his production? Like they would intentionally block poorly? I have a very hard time believing that.