PHILADELPHIA—Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount didn’t do much on the field Thursday night, and they didn’t have much to say about it – or the huge distraction they apparently caused the Steelers – following a not-that-close 31-21 preseason loss to the Eagles.
Earlier in the day, Bell and Blount were charged by the Ross Police Department with possession of marijuana, and Bell also was charged with DUI (marijuana) for an incident that occurred Wednesday afternoon along McKnight Road, shortly before the team plane left for Philadelphia.
Both face possible discipline from the NFL, and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin hinted the team would deal with the matter, too. But he also said he didn’t fell that sitting them down would punish them.
“That conduct is detrimental to our efforts. It will be dealt with appropriately. But I didn’t view it as punishment to send them home, to not play a preseason game. I’d rather them to play more than remove them from game.
“That’s why we took the stance we took tonight, and obviously we’ve got some things to do in regards to moving forward. But not a lot regarding it (to say) at this point in time.”
Here are transcripts of both players’ brief post-game interviews.
LE’VEON BELL (9 carries, 23 yards)
“I’m sorry to be a distraction to the team but I’m only going to answer football questions now.”
How did he feel?
“I felt fine out there, felt normal, felt like a normal game.”
Was he happy to get to play?
“Yes, most definitely glad I got to play.”
On what needs to be fixed:
“We can go back and look at film but there are a lot of little things we could’ve done better. We can correct those things and get ready for next week.”
“Most definitely. We have to take our time, continue to get better each week. We have to go to practice next week and get better.”
He declined to say whether he addressed his teammates.
LeGARRETTE BLOUNT (7 carries, 32 yards)
“I’m sorry for the distraction I caused my team. I just want to apologize to my team, to the coach and the organization for causing that distraction.”
On whether he thought he would play:
“I didn’t know.”
Asked if it wouldn’t happen again, he said he would answer football questions only.
On how he felt:
“I felt the same. I had my same normal game preparation and everything.”
Is he concerned about league discipline?
“I’m going to answer questions only about the game.”
On the offense:
“I think the offense has a lot of things to work on, but we’ll be good. We have a lot of things to work on in our pass game, our run game and our offense in general. We’re going to go back and evaluate the film and we’re going to definitely get better.”
On the loss:
“We’re not worried about it. It’s preseason. We’re obviously disappointed because we want to win every game. We’re obviously disappointed, but we’re going to fix everything, so we’re going to be fine.”
On what Eagles coach Chip Kelly, his former coach at Oregon, said after he ran out of bounds on the Eagles sideline during a kickoff return.
“He said it looked like you got a little faster.”