Mike Tomlin makes it known that he doesn’t have a relationship with former Steelers and current New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell.
This weekend, the Pittsburgh Steelers will travel to East Rutherford, NJ to take on the New York Jets. It’ll be an important game for either team. Despite having been eliminated from postseason contention, a win for the Jets will give them momentum heading into the 2020 season. It’ll also help them continue their strong second half of this campaign. For the Steelers, they’ll need a win to stay in the race for a Wild Card spot in the playoffs.
But there’s another aspect that makes this game that much more meaningful. It’ll be Jets running back Le’Veon Bell‘s first game against his former organization. Bell hasn’t played for Pittsburgh since the 2017 season, having sat out all of last year due to a contract dispute.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about his relationship with Bell this week, essentially making it clear that it doesn’t exist.
“I have none,” he said, per Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I don’t communicate with him. He’s a New York Jet.”
Bell spent five years with the Steelers (2013-17), having made three Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams. He’s struggling in his first year as a Jet though. The veteran has rushed for 676 yards and three touchdowns on a 3.3 yards-per-carry rate through 13 games. He missed the Week 14 win over Miami due to an illness.
Despite not speaking to Bell, Tomlin notes that he’s still someone the Steelers defense has to focus on containing.
“We respect Le’Veon. We know the type of competitor he is,” he said. “We know he’s going to answer the bell and be L-Bell in the game, and it’s our job to minimize that.”
The Jets and Steelers will kick off at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.