Le’Veon Bell’s exit from the Pittsburgh Steelers after holding out the entire 2018 season was certainly a contentious one, but during his time in Pittsburgh, he was largely a well-liked and respected member of the Pittsburgh locker room.
Even this summer, with Bell a member of the New York Jets, he worked out with Steelers running backs James Conner and Jaylen Samuels, suggesting there is no hard feelings between the star running back and his former teammates.
But even amongst teammates, disagreements and alterations can be common. Former Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier might be one of the most level-headed players to suit up in black and gold over the last decade, but he recalled one time that he and Bell nearly came to blows during practice, while appearing on The Ringer Podcast.
“There was a few times me and Le’Veon would butt heads,” Shazier said. “Le’Veon’s a cool dude, too, but we’d have periods in practice when the linebackers would go against the running backs.”
— Ringer Podcast Network (@ringerpodcasts) October 14, 2020
Shazier recalled a time when he was dominating Bell in a one-on-one drill on a day the team was practicing without pads. After being beaten twice, Bell decided to stiff arm Shazier, which is against the limited contact rules of the practice, drawing the ire of the usually cool linebacker.
“He was so mad at me because I made a good play that he came back and was like ‘Nah, let’s do that again’ and then I was right there the same time but he stiff-armed me,” Shazier recalled. “Then we almost got into a fight, me and Le’Veon, that quick. It’s like there’s rules to the game and you know the rules.”
But Shazier said the situation never escalated beyond that.
“We just chopped it up,” he said. “I was just like, man, Le’Veon got mad in this situation. All right, whatever. Let’s move on. It’s really hard to get me to want to fight you.”