Through three weeks of the 2013 NFL season, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has taken a beating in an 0-3 start.
A big reason for that is an offense that has produced the 31st worst rushing attack in the NFL.
Some feel that the debut of rookie running back Le’Veon Bell will help turn things around beginning Sunday in London against the Minnesota Vikings, but don’t count Big Ben among those.
Roethlisberger had some harsh criticism for the rookie, especially his work ethic, as it certainly appears that Big Ben isn’t the president of Bell’s fan club.
According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Big Ben expressed uncertainty regarding whether or not the Michigan State product will be active when Sunday rolls around.
“Honestly, I have no idea with him,” said Roethlisberger. “You can’t get a read on him. One day, he’s practicing, one day, he’s not; one day, he’s going hard, the next day, he’s not. I wish I could.”
The criticism actually gets worse as Big Ben compared the rookie’s work ethic to that of Heath Miller, who returned to action last week after major knee surgery in December.
“If he was a guy like Heath Miller that you knew was busting his butt every day to get back there … Le’Veon is a rookie, I don’t know him quite well enough yet. But if he can come back and help us, we’ll take him.”
Roethlisberger knows a thing or two about battling injuries and playing through pain to help the team win games as he is widely regarded as one of the tougher players in the NFL.
Because of that it is understandable that he doesn’t understand where Bell is at in his recovery as very few players in the NFL have the pain tolerance that Big Ben does.
But even though he is a locker room leader, I’m not so certain that calling out a young player is the best way to jumpstart his career.
However with the likes of Felix Jones, Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer averaging a mere 52 rushing yards per game, Bell can get back on his quarterback’s good side if he comes in and produces immediately.
He is expected to be in action on Sunday.
We will find out soon if he is ready.