Pittsburgh Steelers: Polamalu retires, Bell suspended
The last couple of days have presented a mixed bag of emotions for Pittsburgh Steelers fans. Safety Troy Polamalu retired and running back Le’Veon Bell has been suspended for the first three games of the 2015 season. The Bell suspension was to be expected, but Polamalu retiring seemed to catch people off guard. Both of these occurrences have a big effect on the Steelers going forward, but at least they both happened prior to the NFL draft.
Troy Polamalu is by far the greatest safety to ever play, and his flowing hair and Head and Shoulders shampoo commercials only added to his persona. Whether he was perfectly timing a blitz and jumping over the entire offensive line, or making a huge defensive play to send the Steelers to another Super Bowl, Polamalu provided us and example of a unique skill set that no one had seen from his position before. He was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and won Defensive Player of the Year in 2010, and he was able to constantly stop a play–run or pass. After 12 seasons though, Polamalu is ready to spend more time with his family, which is a great decision due to his recent injury problems the last couple of years.
But, I think that the La’Veon Bell suspension has a bigger impact on the Pittsburgh Steelers right now because of the fact that Bell had such a dominant 2014 campaign. Bell tallied 1,391 rush yards, 854 receiving yards, and 11 touchdowns in 2014, which was only his second season in the NFL. Bell is being suspended because of a traffic stop that occurred on August 20, in which he and LeGarrette Blount were arrested. Blount has received a one-game situation for his role in the arrest and Bell is appealing his suspension.
Steelers Nation will most likely be depressed for a while, and that will last until Week 4 of the 2015 season. Troy Polamalu meant a ton to the city of Pittsburgh throughout his 12-year career, and Bell gives them a much-needed power running back that will continue to make a name for himself. The Pittsburgh Steelers hope that Bell has learned his lesson, otherwise they might start whipping him into shape with those Terrible Towels.
Dustin Brown covers the NFL for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @SprtsWritingMan.