Sportress of Blogitude

Ben Roethlisberger has ‘no hard feelings’ towards Le’Veon Bell

Ben Roethlisberger insists he harbors “no hard feelings” towards Le’Veon Bell, despite all appearances indicating the running back still won’t join the Pittsburgh Steelers for another week-plus.

Bell, who has been holding out ever since the Steelers applied the franchise tag on him in February, seemed to indicate Tuesday on Twitter that he intends to join the Steelers on Sept. 1. That date comes one day after the Steelers’ preseason finale but at least before the team opens its season against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 10.

Roethlisberger, who stated he hasn’t been in contact with Bell, said on Wednesday there’s no grudge with the running back on his behalf.

“There’s no hard feelings on my side,” Roethlisberger said, via the Tribune-Review. “I’d love to hear back from him – a text to say, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ – but it is what it is.”

Roethlisgerger expressed confidence in the notion that Bell has kept himself in shape despite offseason groin surgery. But the veteran signal-caller stressed “football shape” is different.

“We will be ready for [Bell] whenever he gets here,” Roethlisberger said, via ESPN. “We always want our guys here. But he didn’t have to be here. So, we want him here because he’s an amazing football player and he helps this team. So, when he gets here, hopefully it won’t take him long to get into football shape.”

Regarding the “bigger” changes the Steelers have installed on offense, Roethlisberger said the onus is on Bell to play catch up.

“That’s on him, how much studying he wants to do,” Roethlisberger said. “We’ll do everything we can to get him up to speed, and the rest is up to him.”

If Bell does indeed report on Sept. 1 there will be only four practices, one padded, to get him up to speed and football ready before the opener. Bell will also have to sign his $12.1 million franchise tender as well after he and the Steelers were unable to hammer out a deal before the July 17 deadline.