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Mike Tomlin spells out ‘consequences’ to Le’Veon Bell’s absence

Le’Veon Bell is once again a noticeable absence at training camp with the Pittsburgh Steelers. While Bell insists he’ll be ready to roll once he shows up, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin nevertheless laid out how the running back’s no-show status comes with “consequences.”

Tomlin addressed the Bell situation during an appearance Monday on 93.7 The Fan.

“I just believe that it’s accepted and you know that there are,” Tomlin said, as transcribed by Steelers Depot. “There’s a reason why we come up here and work in this environment and develop individually and collectively. So, when you miss that, there’s consequences. And I just stated the obvious last year because it was our first venture into that realm and I just felt like it needed to be stated. I’ve stated it less so this year because we’ve been there and done that. I hadn’t talked a lot about him because there’s really not a lot to talk about.

“The two most important variables regarding Le’Veon is when he shows up and the level of football conditioning he’s in when he gets here and until you have those two variables, or boxes checked, discussions are mute. So, you know, I’m sure he’s in great shape, he’s in great shape over a 12 month calendar, but football shape is football shape. When he gets here, we’ll see where he is and proceed from there. Until then, I’ll focus my energies and attention on the guys that are working here, as I should.”

The notion that Bell is a prominent topic of discussion is hardly a surprise, although Tomlin already has exhibited annoyance over having to address the situation. The Steelers coach also previously stated the expectation is for Bell to be “ready” upon his arrival.

Overall, Bell enjoyed a solid 2017 campaign overall despite his late arrival, although it did include a slow start. Bell failed to notch a 100-yard rushing game until Week 4. He did finish with 1,291 yards, good for third in the NFL, though. Whether Bell can avoid stumbling out of the gate this season remains to be seen.