Everything OK between Roethlisberger, Bell

September, 25, 2013
9/25/13
7:20
PM ET
PITTSBURGH -- Here is what kind of season it has been for the Pittsburgh Steelers: Their quarterback was quoted out of context on his own radio show.

At least that is the case when it comes to the Steelers fans who angrily weighed in after Ben Roethlisberger said he doesn't know what to expect from rookie running back Le'Veon Bell when Pittsburgh plays the Minnesota Vikings in London.

Roethlisberger told 93.7 The Fan on Tuesday that he didn't know how much pain Bell could play through and that he had no such questions after tight end Heath Miller returned from a major knee injury.

Some fans interpreted that as Roethlisberger challenging Bell, who is scheduled to return Sunday from a mid-foot sprain, or taking a cheap shot at the rookie.

Roethlisberger said on Wednesday that was anything but the case.

“I meant that as a compliment to Heath and just saying that I know Heath and I've been around Heath for a long time,” Roethlisberger said. “I just don't know Le'Veon well enough yet to know. I didn't even know that (the comments) created ... I'll go say something to him and see if it hurt his feelings, but I don't think it would have.”

It didn't, said Bell.

“I'm a young guy, I'm a rookie, I haven't been here," said Bell, the second running back taken in the 2013 draft. "This is his first season with me. A lot of guys still really don't know what I am about because I haven't played. I just want to show him at least a little bit in this coming week.”

Those searching for signs that the 0-3 Steelers are coming apart at the seams will probably have to look elsewhere. Roethlisberger seemed genuinely surprised when I asked him about the Bell comments and the fan reaction they had generated. And Bell seemed sincere when he shrugged them off and said he expected such a response since his next NFL carry will be his first NFL carry.

While Roethlisberger is still getting to know Bell, he is looking forward to seeing what dimension the latter adds to the Steelers' offense.

“I think he's more than just a guy who's going to run the ball,” Roethlisberger said. “He wouldn't have been brought here if he wasn't an all-around back.”

Scott Brown

ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter

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