Le'Veon Bell's patience on the football field sets him apart.In a game built
01-03-2019, 10:55 AM,
Le'Veon Bell's patience on the football field sets him apart.In a game built
on chaos Womens Trae Waynes Jersey , the star running back rarely hurries or makes hasty decisions.His ability to put his hand on the back of an offensive lineman while waiting for the hole to open 鈥?much like a child sticking close to a parent in a crowded store 鈥?helps him make the remarkably difficult at times look remarkably easy.His career at a crossroads partly of his own making, Bell will have to rely on that patience now more than ever after the two-time All-Pro declined to sign his one-year, $14.4 million franchise tender with the Pittsburgh Steelers by Tuesday's deadline, making him ineligible to play for the AFC North leaders or anyone else this season.The unprecedented move sets Bell up for the potentially big-time payday he has long been searching when he becomes a free agent in the spring, provided there's a team willing to splurge on one of the league's more talented if mercurial players.While TV cameras set up outside the team's practice facility on Tuesday to catch Bell if he decided to show up for work for the first time in nearly 10 months, the 26-year-old never pulled up to the gates, ending 鈥?for now 鈥?one of the more unusual labor standoffs between a team and a player in the era of free agency.Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin seemed resigned to Bell's decision shortly before the 4 p.m. deadline, saying simply "so be it" when asked about the possibility of Bell not returning to the team that selected him in the second round of the 2013 draft and helped mold him into one of the league's most dynamic threats."Even when we don't understand it, we're sensitive to it, so we're not shocked when things happen from a business standpoint, no," Tomlin said.The Steelers (6-2-1), who have won five straight to sprint to the top of the division heading into a visit to Jacksonville on Sunday, will turn to second-year back James Conner and reserves Stevan Ridley and rookie Jaylen Samuels to help shoulder the load with Bell out of the picture.Conner, third in the NFL with 771 yards rushing, remained in the concussion protocol on Tuesday after leaving last Thursday's blowout win against Carolina but could practice as early as Wednesday.All season Tomlin stressed he was focused on the players in the locker room and not the ones outside it. He hardly seemed bothered by the idea of Pittsburgh's quest for a postseason berth continuing without Bell."That train has left the station," Tomlin said. "We're comfortable with how we function, the people at our disposal, the division of labor and our ability to ready ourselves for the challenges."The Steelers drafted Bell with the 48th overall pick five years ago, won over by his youth, size and versatility. Along with wide receiver Antonio Brown, Bell became the linchpin in which the Steelers rebuilt themselves on the fly as the franchise's identity shifted from away from the defense that fueled three Super Bowl appearances in six years from 2005-2010 toward an offense that ranked among the most explosive in the league.The makeover relied heavily on Bell Youth Adam Thielen Jersey , whose patient running style became his trademark while helping Pittsburgh to four straight playoff berths.Bell is one of only three players in recent NFL history to be franchise tagged in consecutive seasons. The first two 鈥?linebacker Karlos Dansby and quarterback Kirk Cousins 鈥?played all 16 games during their second seasons under the tag then went and cashed in elsewhere in free agency.As his profile rose, Bell insisted he wasn't merely a running back, pointing to his success as a receiver 鈥?he finished 10th in the league with 85 catches in 2017 鈥?as proof that he should be paid far above his peers.When Bell and the Steelers failed to reach an agreement on a new deal last summer, he said "both sides worked extremely hard" in an attempt to get something done. When it didn't happen, he skipped training camp again, just as he did in 2017. His teammates stressed it was no big deal, confident Bell would show up in time for the regular-season opener.Only he didn't. And when preparations for Pittsburgh's Week 1 trip to Cleveland began without Bell, several Steelers 鈥?particularly the offensive line 鈥?vented their frustrations publicly.The anger eased as the weeks passed and Conner thrived in Bell's absence while Bell remained in Florida, where encounters captured on social media found him riding a Jet Ski or hitting the club. He returned to Pittsburgh last week and even played some pickup basketball at a fitness center.It's as close to breaking a sweat with the Steelers as Bell will get.Though the team could use the franchise or transition tag on Bell next spring, it's more likely he'll just walk away.Two years later, a look back on the day that changed Vikings history forever Most of us probably remember where we were when either an alert flashed across our phone or we checked Twitter and saw the news: Teddy Bridgewater had gone down with a serious knee injury.The news only got worse and worse as people started to comprehend the severity of the injury. And then came the Mike Zimmer press conference, where the visibly emotional coach recalled his wife’s passing when talking about the situation. It was an awful day for the Vikings community.On the field, the team had been gearing up for a Super Bowl run. Remember, this was a team that had come within seconds of winning a playoff game a year before (we won’t discuss why that didn’t happen). The backup quarterback was Shaun Hill. So Rick Spielman went out and made a blockbuster trade, sending a first round pick to the Eagles for Sam Bradford. The Eagles not only got a first round pick for a quarterback whose days in Philly were numbered, but they also cleared the way to give their starting job to rookie Carson Wentz. Had he not started in 2016, it’s very possible he wouldn’t have developed into an MVP candidate who helped the Eagles win the Super Bowl in the 2017 season.Meanwhile, in the first regular season game at U.S. Bank Stadium, Bradford looked amazing, outplaying Aaron Rodgers en route to a Vikings win. The Vikings looked like the league’s best team for five weeks, until injuries derailed the season and ultimately caused them to miss the playoffs. They then didn’t have a first round pick. Shaun Hill was done, and the Vikings needed a new backup quarterback. There are two ways to look at what happened: Spielman knew he had to pay more attention to the position after the Bridgewater injury http://www.thevikingsfootballauthentic.com/matt-wile-jersey-authentic , so he went out and signed a guy with starting experience who’d shown potential in spots and had been an all-time great college quarterback.Spielman signed a journeyman backup who’d been given numerous chances and had never played well enough to keep a starting spot for a sustained period of time.Hello, Case Keenum.Nobody paid much attention to the signing. After all, Bradford was the starter, and Bridgewater was expected back at some point. Keenum wasn’t even a lock to make the roster.But then Bridgewater started the season on the PUP list and Bradford got injured after another incredible prime-time performance to open the season. So Keenum was the starter, and it looked like the Vikings were doomed.We all know what happened next. But because Keenum hadn’t played at a high level for multiple seasons, the Vikings were able to go in a different direction. And because Bridgewater hadn’t started a game since January 2016, the Vikings were able to go in a different direction. So Kirk Cousins, the top quarterback on the market, headed to the Vikings. It was probably the biggest free-agent signing in Minnesota since Zach Parise and Ryan Suter signed with the Wild in 2012 (feel free to debate this one). Both Keenum and Bradford will likely start the season as starting quarterbacks. Bridgewater was traded to the Saints yesterday, in a move that might set him up to be Drew Brees’ eventual successor. I really hope he gets another chance to be a starting quarterback. Here’s Ted’s “what if” on the whole situation, if you want to go down that road again. Think for a second, though, about how much everything has changed in these two years, and how it all happened because of one ill-fated dropback. And to end, here’s Zimmer on Bridgewater, right after he was drafted.“I said, ‘How’s your heart?’” Zimmer recalled. “He said, ‘Well, they said it was too big.’”
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