Ravens defensive coordinator absolutely blasts Le’Veon Bell

By Vincent Frank
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.