We’re starting to get an idea about how individuals around the NFL feel when it comes to holdout Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell.
As you might be able to imagine, it’s not good.
Ahead of his team’s game against the Steelers this weekend, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale put Bell on absolute blast. In fact, he’s suggesting that the Steelers are better off without the All-Pro back.
Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale on absent Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell: "There are a lot of stats [since 2015] that the Steelers are actually better without him. That might be why he’s riding a jet ski down in Miami right now."
— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) November 1, 2018
Those are some harsh words right there. But he’s not necessarily wrong. Prior to the start of the 2018 season, Pittsburgh boasted a 23-10 record and averaged 23.9 point per game with Bell on the field during his career. With him sidelined, the team was 14-6-1 and averaged 29 points per outing.
This season alone, second-year back James Conner has more than filled in for Bell. He’s been among the most-productive running backs in the game. The former mid-round pick has put up 922 total yards and nine touchdowns in seven games.
None of this is to say that Bell isn’t good. He remains one of the best all-around running backs in the game. Though, the perception of his holdout around the NFL isn’t doing the veteran any favors. Martindale’s comments are the most recent example of this.