Judging by his past, it’s very rare for Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin to throw rookies right into the fire. But rookie running back Le’Veon Bell appears to be the exception to the rule.
Bell and Isaac Redman were listed as co-starters at running back on the team’s unofficial depth chart, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Wednesday.
After sitting out the Steelers preseason opener against the New York Giants on Saturday, Bell will likely be the starter when the Steelers are back in action Monday against the Washington Redskins.
I feel that says a lot about Bell and the plans the Steelers have for him right out of the gate this season.
You also have to believe that despite what the depth chart says right now, this job is clearly Bell’s to lose and all indications would point to him having to be pretty bad to do so.
After watching the running back by committee approach fail miserably last season, you would have to think that Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley loves the idea of having a potential featured back to lean on this season.
Most of the time, August depth charts don’t really mean too much, but in this case I think it speaks to the fact that this job is being handed to the rookie unless something unforeseen happens. Anyone who tuned in last Saturday to get a look at Bell came away disappointed. That won’t be the case when Monday night rolls around.
It also won’t be the case on Sept. 8 when the Steelers open the season against the Tennessee Titans and Bell is on the field with the first-team offense.