Le'Veon Bell's contract leveraging power disintegrating more with each passing week..

NFL franchises around the league are scratching their heads wondering if Bell
is who they thought he was?
Was the Steelers OL making him look better than what he really is?
Is Conner just as wickedly talented as Bell?
Is the Steelers rushing system good enough to where you can
plug any average to above average RB/WR into the system and get
nearly the same results?

Just this 4 part conundrum of questioning alone is just as confusing as
it is damaging to Bell's hefty contract he's expecting to win..
Better get'r'done because of the numbers JC is putting up each week....
I mean JC's TD's already matching Bell's TD output of Bell's entire last season.......

Clearly this is not about the money since Bell is losing a mil per week

The good news is more than half of the NFL franchises around the league
still believe piggyback riding a few star players to the glory hole is the
recipe for winning championships..

However, this is not the FFL or better known as the Fantasy Football League.........

Now, let's look at the numbers as numbers can't lie or fool anyone...
JC. has successfully replaced Bell as there is no doubt about it...
Both rushing and receiving.

Bell is supposedly good friends with Conner and wishes him well..

If true how can he not be pissed deep inside as Conner is clearly damaging
Bell's bargaining power???

Conner is breaking all time Steeler records left and right...

Let's look at Conner's production compared
to Bell's at this time last season along with JC's breaking
of all time Steeler records as Ron Cook from the PPG
will shed upon light upon just how great JC is quickly becoming
a beloved all around great guy both on and off the field in Pittsburgh ............

James Conner
Sun 10/28 W 33-18 24 146 6.1 30 2 5 66 13.2 14 0 1 0
Sun 10/14 W 28-21 19 111 5.8 26 2 4 18 4.5 8 0 0 0
Sun 10/7 W 41-17 21 110 5.2 30 2 4 75 18.8 29 0 1 0
Sun 9/30 L 14-26 9 19 2.1 4 0 3 25 8.3 15 0 0 0
Mon 9/24 W 30-27 15 61 4.1 27 0 5 34 6.8 18 0 0 0
Sun 9/16 L 37-42 8 17 2.1 9 1 5 48 9.6 22 0 0 0
Sun 9/9 21-21 (OT) 31 135 4.4 22 2 5 57 11.4 19 0 1 1
REGULAR SEASON STATS 127 599 4.7 30 9 31 323 10.4 29 0 3 1

Le'Veon Bell

Sun 10/22 W 29-14 35 134 3.8 15 0 3 58 19.3 42 0 0 0
Sun 10/15 W 19-13 32 179 5.6 27 1 3 12 4.0 9 0 0 0
Sun 10/8 L 9-30 15 47 3.1 15 0 10 46 4.6 9 0 0 0
Sun 10/1 W 26-9 35 144 4.1 21 2 4 42 10.5 18 0 1 0
Sun 9/24 L 17-23 (OT) 15 61 4.1 13 1 6 37 6.2 12 0 0 0
Sun 9/17 W 26-9 27 87 3.2 11 0 4 4 1.0 4 0 0 0
Sun 9/10 W 21-18 10 32 3.2 15 0 3 15 5.0 10 0 0 0
REGULAR SEASON STATS 169 684 3.8 27 4 33 214 7.2 42 0 1 0

ATT Conner, 42< Bell (overworked)

YDS Conner 85< Bell (42 ATT, 2 YDS AVG per. CAR)

AVG Conner 4.7, .9 > Bell

LNG Conner 30 YDS, 3 YDS > Bell

TD Conner 9, 4 > Bell (*Conner's 9 TD's already matching Bell's entire season!*)


REC Conner 31, 2 REC < Bell

YDS Conner 323, 109 YDS >Bell

AVG Conner 10.4, 3.2 > Bell

LNG Conner 29, 13 YDS < Bell

TD Conner 0 Bell 0

FUM Conner 3, Bell 1

LST Conner 1 > Bell 0

Ron Cook: James Conner etches name into Steelers record book

Hall of Famer Franco Harris never did it. Neither did Hall of Famers Jerome Bettis, John Henry Johnson and Bill Dudley. And no, Le’Veon Bell didn’t do it, either.

In the 86-year history of the Steelers, James Conner is in a class by himself, the franchise’s first running back with three consecutive games with at least 100 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. He went for 146 rushing yards and also had 66 receiving yards on five catches in the 33-18 win Sunday against Cleveland, the Steelers’ 15th consecutive regular-season win against the Browns at Heinz Field. I am not very good at math, but I believe that adds up to 212 yards from scrimmage. The Browns managed just 237 as a team.

“I grabbed him on the sideline at the very end, gave him a hug and said I was proud of him,” Ben Roethlisberger recalled later. “Then I told him, ‘Don’t let the Conner chants get to your head.’”

If you close your eyes and listen closely, you probably still can hear them.

“Con-ner! Con-ner! Con-ner!”

The love poured down, along with a chilly rain, late in the third quarter as Conner was following up in a big way his 111-yard, two-touchdown day in a win against Cincinnati Oct. 14 and his 110-yard, two-touchdown performance in a win against Atlanta Oct. 7.

“I don’t think it will change him. I don’t think he’s that type of guy,” David DeCastro said. “He enjoyed it, which he should. But he’s not going to change. What he’s been through in his life, I think he appreciates where he’s at. It’s pretty awesome to watch.”

You know Conner’s story. Grew up in Erie. Was an ACC Player of the Year at Pitt. Overcame a major knee injury. Beat cancer.

The challenges kept coming for Conner this season when he was asked to replace Bell, who many of us thought was irreplaceable and was voted as the fifth-best NFL player by his league-wide peers before the season. Conner hasn’t just replaced Bell. He has been better than Bell was last season. It’s no wonder Roethlisberger said after Conner’s latest big day, “I don’t want to talk about Le’Veon. I want to talk about this win and the guys that are here.”

It’s not just Roethlisberger.

Conner has made Bell almost an afterthought in the Steelers locker room.

The team has won three in a row to solidify its grasp on first place in the AFC North while Bell has lost $6.84 million the past eight weeks by refusing to sign his franchise tender.

“It’s unfortunate, the whole situation,” Ramon Foster said. “I hate it for both sides, us and [Bell]. But the show rolls on. That’s the NFL. The train doesn’t stop for anybody. Somebody will have [No.] 73 after I’m done …

“When the opportunity is there, you’ve got to take advantage of it. Conner is. He’s earned everything he’s got.”

Conner had four carries for 60 yards on a 75-yard touchdown drive that gave the Steelers a 23-12 lead late in the third quarter. He did what he does best — break tackles. He broke one by safety Derrick Kindred on a 30-yard run and another by safety Damarious Randall on his 12-yard touchdown run.

Conner was at it again on a drive midway through the fourth quarter. He had six runs for 53 yards, the final one for a 22-yard touchdown that closed out the Steelers’ scoring.

It was a much different finish for Conner, who had 135 rushing yards and 57 receiving yards in the opening game at Cleveland but lost a fumble midway through the fourth quarter that led to the Browns coming back for a 21-21 tie.

“After that first game, he almost was extra cautious,” Roethlisberger said. “He missed a couple of holes because he didn’t want to fumble. Today, at the end, there was no thought of fumbling. It was, ‘How can I score a touchdown?’ ”

Conner’s teammates loved it.

“The way he runs the ball is unbelievable,” Al Villenueva said. “That really inspires us.”

Conner’s reaction to all of it was typically understated.

“Just doing what I love to do. The passion and energy just came out.”

Conner spent the Steelers’ bye week after the Cincinnati game by doing a national media tour. In each interview, he praised Bell for being a great teammate and said he is eager for Bell to return to the team.

“Me and Le’Veon are super cool. He’s a great person. With him holding out, people are going to call him selfish and all that, but that’s not the case at all. It’s just business. That’s my guy …

“Us as a duo, ain’t nobody going to stop us.”

Unlike his coaches and teammates, Conner said he hears regularly from Bell.

“Any time I do something good on the field, I always come back to the locker room to a text from him saying, ‘Good game,’ or ‘Nice move right there,’ ” Conner told Fox Sports.

Bell’s text to Conner Sunday must have been especially lengthy.

There was plenty about Conner’s game to praise.
Ron Cook: rcook@post-gazette.com and Twitter@RonCookPG. Ron Cook can be heard on the “Cook and Joe” show weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 93.7 The Fan.

Ron Cook: James Conner etches name into Steelers record book ...

How is JC doing compared to rest of the NFL?

Rushing Touchdowns Leaders - All Players

JC's stats are through 7 games while Gurley's are through 8 games**

1 Todd Gurley II, RB LAR 169 800 4.7 29 6 11 100.0 0 44
2 James Conner, RB PIT 127 599 4.7 30 7 9 85.6 3 30

Rushing Yards Leaders - All Players

JC's and Ezekiel's stats through 7 games while Gurley's are through 8 games*

1 Todd Gurley II, RB LAR 169 800 4.7 29 6 11 100.0 0 44
2 Ezekiel Elliott, RB DAL 132 619 4.7 41 5 3 88.4 2 32
3 James Conner, RB PIT 127 599 4.7 30 7 9 85.6 3 30