NFL from the Sidelines

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O-R Sports reporter Dale Lolley gets you the insider scoop on the NFL.

After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop. Dale can also be heard on the Steelers radio network pre-game show prior to every game. Follow him on Twitter at dlolleyor.

Steelers packages without Bell are favors to opponents

September 14, 2017
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) runs past Cleveland Browns inside linebacker Christian Kirksey (58) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Let’s tap the brakes on all of this Le’Veon Bell isn’t going to be on the field because the Steelers are going to use more four receiver sets stuff.

The Steelers used that package a handful of times last Sunday against the Cleveland Browns with Jesse James, not Bell, on the field.

And now, suddenly, we’re seeing stories that it’s going to become a “staple” of the Steelers offense.


The Steelers are going to put their best 11 offensive players on the field as this season progresses. On no planet or any alternative universe will that 11 include James and not Bell.

So, while the Steelers might, indeed, use four receivers on the field more this season, they will be much more likely to do so with Bell on the field.

Last Sunday was more about the “consequences” head coach Mike Tomlin talked about in training camp when asked what would happen to Bell when he returned.

The Steelers had practiced that set in training camp and the offseason. They had done so without Bell..

But as Bell gets his sea legs under him - which could be as soon as this week given how he looked in the fourth quarter against the Browns - he will be on the field more than the 73 percent of the snaps he was in that game.

@ Seriously, any time you’re taking Bell off the field to keep James on it, you’re doing the opposing team a big favor.

@ Bud Dupree said Wednesday that he expects to be back this week against Minnesota.

We’ll see.

Given his limited participation in practice Wednesday, he’d better be a full participant Thursday and Friday if he wants that to be the case.

@ The Steelers had seven men on the list for consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Wednesday,

They included Alan Faneca, Hines Ward, Joey Porter, Greg Lloyd, Gary Anderson, Bill Cowher and Buddy Parker.

Of that list, Faneca and Cowher are shoe-ins at some point. It could even happen for Faneca this year.

The next guy up, in my opinion, is probably Parker.

Parker? Yep.

This is a guy who, in long stretches with Detroit and Pittsburgh, two also rans in the 1950s and 1960s, had winners in both places. In fact, he led Detroit to its only NFL Championship.

Ward, Porter, Lloyd and Anderson were all great players. But they’re not getting in anytime soon, if at all.

Ward might have the best case. But by the time the voters get around to putting in the other receivers who should go in ahead of him, Ward won’t even be the Steelers all-time receptions leader any longer.

Antonio Brown should pass him in the next three seasons - if not two.

@ Stephon Tuitt isn’t likely to play this week, or even next. But I would expect him to have a pretty good chance to be back to full strength in a couple of weeks to play against the Ravens.



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