Brent Stover and Brendan Haywood discuss Le’Veon Bell facing a 4 game suspension from the NFL.
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The Steelers may be missing running back Le’Veon Bell for the first 4 games of the season due to missing a drug test according to ESPN.
Bell was suspended for two games at the start of 2015 for a drug incident before a preseason game in Philadelphia.
Without Bell, De’Angelo Williams would be the featured back for the Steelers as he was a season ago when Bell was suspended.
NFL.com has more on the suspension:
The Steelers running back is facing a four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on substances of abuse, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per sources informed of his situation. Specifically, Bell’s suspension is for missing several drug tests. The running back will appeal the four-game ban.
Rapoport added that the Steelers have known for the past several weeks that Bell likely wouldn’t be on the field when the season began.
The Steelers today released longtime blocking tight end Matt Spaeth, as the team stated he never was able to recover from a January knee scope.
The official release is a ‘designation of failed physical.’
“Matt never fully recovered from knee surgery that occurred this past offseason, and he will not be ready to return to football activities at this time,” general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement released by the team. “Matt played an integral role in our Super Bowl XLIII Championship run, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
The Steelers took Spaeth in the 3rd round in 2007, and over nine seasons with the black and gold and the Chicago Bears, he had 55 catches for 420 yards and 10 touchdowns.
He’s the second veteran tight end to be gone from the team this offseason, as long time TE Heath Miller retired from the team in a surprise move back in December.
Last season, Le’Veon Bell suffered a horrific MCL injury in Pittsburgh’s 16-10 defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals in November – an unfortunate incident that would keep him out of the side for the rest of the season. And at the business end of the season, the Steelers struggled to move the ball as easily and Bell’s impact in both the passing and running game was sorely missed.
However, that’s not to say DeAngelo Williams did a bad job. In fact, he did a fantastic job whilst Bell was side-lined and Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin should definitely consider using both men in a dual-back formation next season. The former Carolina Panthers star recorded 907 yards on the ground last year as well as 367 yards through the air – statistics that show just how vital he was to Pittsburgh’s offense.
And without a shadow of a doubt, Tomlin should adopt an aggressive approach on offense again this season. With both Bell and Williams coming out of the backfield, it will keep the opposing defences guessing and gives quarterback Ben Roethlisberger more options if needed. With Heath Miller now retired and Martavis Bryant suspended for the year, the Steelers plan to line up in various systems and formations next season.
As of July 21st, Pittsburgh are 11/1 to win the Super Bowl in Paddy Power’s NFL odds and the two running backs will be key to their chances of glory in 2017. Yes, defence is the most important thing when trying to build a championship-winning side but a solid running game is also central to success in the National Football League. The game is already dominated by pass-heavy franchises but a reliable rushing unit can reap rewards.
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) July 18, 2016
Perhaps the greatest thing about using both backs is that they complement each other perfectly. Bell is an agile, versatile back – capable of catching out of the backfield and using his own athleticism to turn a negative play into a positive one. Meanwhile, Williams is more of a ‘north-south’ running back but does possess the skillset to juke and catch opposing defencemen off-guard. Ultimately, the Steelers may have the best running back duo in the NFL on their hands – and Tomlin knows it.
Pittsburgh are the most successful franchise in NFL history and Mike Tomlin will be keen to enhance his legacy at Heinz Field with another Super Bowl success. Ben Roethlisberger isn’t getting any younger and the time to win could be at hand. Whilst Pittsburgh’s defence is still fairly young, their offense could power through matches next season – especially if Tomlin uses both Bell and Williams.
The Steelers running back duo are lethal as individuals so just imagine how effective they could both be whilst on the field at the same time…
Artie Burns has surely been thrown into the deep water when the Pittsburgh Steelers selected him in the first round of the NFL Draft. This year, the team has lost a great deal of experience – Will Allen, Antwon Blake and Boykin are gone – and the replacements, Golson, Davis, and Burns, have some large shoes to fill. But what they lack in experience, these youngsters make up in ball skills and energy.
Artie Burns will have little time to sit back, relax, and play a little game at http://www.online-casinos.ca/. But he already feels the pressure, as he recently told DKPittsburghSports. “They drafted me first-round,” Burns said. “They have high expectations for me. I have to learn fast. They’re not just going to sit around and wait for me to grow.”
The Steelers selected Artie Burns in the first round for the first time since Chad Scott in 1997. During his early years, he broke the American junior record for 60 meter hurdles, and he is a 2-time USA Today track & field All-American champion (2011 and 2012). Last year, Burnes played for the University of Miami, and was among the fastest and most energetic defensive backs of the country. He had six interceptions with Miami DB, the best since Sean Taylor had 10 back in 2003.
The Steelers have picked this boy wonder (he is just 25) hoping to mold all this energy and skill into a starting cornerback. He is tall, he is very fast, and with the right amount of work, he can end up being the best corner of this draft, at least according to NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock. While he might not be starter-ready just yet, but he has still quite enough time to become one. Most analysts agree that Burns has a ton of potential, and a lot of physical advantage, that he can turn into points in the field.
Still, Burns hopes the team will not rely on him from the first moment. Although he admitted that the thought of being a key player from his first day in the deep waters of the NFL is surely intriguing. Still, the Steelers have other valuable players to rely on – like William Gay or Ross Cockrell, not to mention Senquez Golson. This would allow the Artie Burns to get used to his new position, “learn to swim” so to say, without the possibility of being a liability for the team’s defense.
Burns is well aware that he has to work a great deal to be a valuable player in the coming season. He still hopes that he won’t be pushed too hard before being ready – both physically and mentally.
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