Steelers News: Bell and Brady suspensions


Steelers training camp is officially underway. For the next few weeks the team will lay the foundation for the 2015 regular season. While the Steelers are sweating in the hot Latrobe sun we’ll be busy looking for mentions of your Black & Gold so we’ve got you covered. Here’s your Steelers Morning Huddle for Wednesday, July 29th.

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The Steelers didn’t even take the field on Tuesday for training camp but still ended the day as winners after the NFL and NFLPA settled on Le’Veon Bell‘s suspension to be reduced to two games and Tom Brady’s suspension upheld by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Steelers statement on Bell suspension

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert released a statement on behalf of the Steelers in regards to Bell’s suspension, which was reduced from three games to two after a settlement between the NFLPA and league.

"“As I have stated before, we were disappointed in Le’Veon Bell’s actions last August. Le’Veon made a mistake and now he must learn from his mistake and focus on eliminating distractions from his life. We look forward to continuing to work with Le’Veon to try to help him reach his full potential as a person and as a player.” – Kevin Colbert"

Bell will still miss the Week 1 matchup in New England against the defending Super Bowl Champion Patriots but he is now eligible to return to the team on Monday, September 21 after the Steelers Week 2 game against the San Francisco 49ers. He’s eligible to participate in all training camp practices and preseason games.

The reduction is good news for the Steelers and for Bell as one game can make all the difference in the world when December rolls around and the Steelers may or may not be in a division race. Bell led the AFC in rushing last season with 1,361 rushing yards but it was his 854 receiving yards that made him an integral part of the Steelers offensive fire power.

The Steelers, who will be relying heavily on their offense this season, are lucky to be able to have Bell only gone for two games instead of three. Bell is lucky that he can put this bone-headed mistake behind him early in his career and go on to see how great he can be.

Goodell upholds Tom Brady four-game suspension

Also good news for Steelers fans on Tuesday finally came Roger Goodell’s ruling on Tom Brady’s appeal of his four-game suspension for those pesky deflated balls used in the AFC Championship game. Apparently, Rogeez didn’t take too kindly to Tommy being so cocky as to destroy his phone instead of offering it up to the Ted Wells investigation so in spite of rumored talks of a settlement, Goodell thought instead, “Hmm, better not.”

You can read Goodell’s 20 page decision on Brady right here.

Tom Brady wasted no time in responding, well his agent, Don Yee, did the responding in a lengthy response ESPN’s Mike Reiss had which includes more emphatic denials of wrongdoing.

"“The Commissioner’s decision is deeply disappointing, but not surprising because the appeal process was thoroughly lacking in procedural fairness. Most importantly, neither Tom nor the Patriots did anything wrong. And the NFL has no evidence that anything inappropriate occurred.” – Tom Brady’s agent, Don Yee"

I’m not sure why the Patriots are giving the league $1 million and some draft picks if they did nothing wrong but that’s just minor details at this point.

The NFLPA already issued their response as well and plans to move the fight to a federal court where NFL players have had success in getting Goodell-levied punishment either reduced or vacated. ESPN’s legal expert Lester Munson thinks that this time might not go in the player’s favor, though.

"“No, Brady will not succeed. Although he enjoys top-of-the-line legal representation and his lawyers will file a brilliantly written lawsuit, his effort to stop the suspension is doomed. There are two reasons why: First, federal judges are reluctant to reconsider the rulings of arbitrators; second, Goodell produced a decision on Brady that is brilliantly reasoned, meticulously detailed, and well-written. Goodell’s recitation of the evidence of the tampering with game balls is powerful, and his description of Brady’s attempt at a cover-up is persuasive.” – Lester Munson"

Even though the Steelers players have already indicated their desire to see Brady on the field for the opening game in Foxboro on Sept. 10 we don’t have to abide by that “we want to see the best team out there” mantra as fans. We want the Steelers to win and if Brady’s not there, they have a better shot.

What do you think, Steeler Nation? Do you think Brady’s suspension is actually final or will he have his day in court and win?

Next: Evolution of the Steelers offense

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