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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

NFL reduces Bell suspension and other notes

The NFL on Tuesday reduced Le'Veon Bell's suspension from three games to two following Bell's appeal.

It gives some closure to a situation that had many Steelers fans wringing their hands.

Bell's representatives apparently successfully argued that their client was being penalized more so than other players who had violated the Substance Abuse policy at the time he was arrested for marijuana possession and DUI.

The league came up with a uniform policy for suspensions soon thereafter and penalized Bell under those rules.

Bell made a mistake. He's been a model citizen outside of that mistake. He'll pay the price and he and the Steelers can now move on.

@ The Bell ruling came, coincidentally, on the same day commissioner Roger Goodell announced he is upholding Tom Brady's four-game suspension.

With that announcement came the news that Brady destroyed his cell phone in the days before the league asked him to turn it over.

If Brady was innocent, as he claims, why destroy the phone? If he was innocent, why wouldn't he simply turn it over?

The NFLPA has said it plans to take the issue to Federal Court. But that holds some danger to Brady and the Patriots.

If, say, the courts hear the case in November and decides against Brady, does he really want to begin his suspension in December? Or worse, January?

@ It amazes me that supposedly smart football guys can't wrap their heads around the fact that the Steelers can play a version of the Tampa-2 defense out of a 3-4 this season.

The team already played some Cover-2 in the past, though it certainly wasn't their primary coverage.

But it's looking like it might be this season.

That doesn't mean the Steelers are suddenly going to switch to a 4-3. They're going to use their current talent appropriately.

But the option of switching to a 4-3 down the road is there. Anybody think Bud Dupree couldn't be effective as a 4-3 end?

This year's defense will have Mike Tomlin's fingerprints all over it. Keith Butler's will be calling the plays, but it will be Tomlin's defense.

@ The secondary could benefit from such a move, safeties Mike Mitchell and Shamarko Thomas more than most.

Mitchell has played this style of defense in the past and will be better able to react to the ball knowing that Thomas has the deep half of the field on the other side.

@ The Steelers feel that Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt are both studs at the defensive end position. And Steve McLendon is better suited as an up-the-field guy as well.

Why wouldn't you want to turn those guys loose?


Anonymous said...

Wasn't it as of yesterday than nobody with the Steelers knew anything about Bell's appeal or when it might be scheduled. All they knew was that it hadn't been heard yet. Now, after morning rumors of a possible settlement, there's a reduction in games. Does this mean that this was a settlement and not any conclusion of a formal appeal? Meaning Bell has accepted the terms of this new suspension and it's final?

datruth4life said...

Dale, with the pads popping for the first time tomorrow, who do you think will rise up and who do you think will shrink? Put me down for Clifton Geathers getting in the first fight.

Dale Lolley said...

Bell's agent was talking with the NFL. But there was an appeal. Call it a settlement. Call it what you will. But it doesn't change the result.

No idea who will rise and shrink in the first day. That's why I watch practice, datruth. There are always surprises.

Anonymous said...

4-3 or 3-4...yawn. I don't really care. I think the increase use of the the one-gap technique and cover 2 in the secondary is of bigger importance. I should allow the corners to be more physical at the line while the front sever works more quickly up the field. I'm excited to see it. Merrill Hodge talks about it with Labriola and Matthews on and give a great reason for the 1 gap over 2.


I'm most excited about Bud Dupree. Please keep us up to date on how he looks with the pads on. Thanks for the insight!

datruth4life said...

Dale, glad Steelers network have come to their senses and are using your more. Great job. This team has some talent. Let's see what the young guys can do.

Dale Lolley said...

We'll start finding out about Dupree Wednesday when the pads go on. I expect backs on backers out of the gate.

Thanks Datruth

Tom said...

I read a tweet saying Dupree has a "Dwight Freeney spin" in his repertoire. Can't wait to it when the pads come on.

Anonymous said...

I'll pump your ego up some more and agree with datruth lol. Love the blog Dale! This one was a good one. I'm with you on the 3/4 Cover 2 and am excited to see how it goes. I'm also glad you mentioned this Defense will have Tomlin's fingerprints all over it. I respect the heck out of DL but I think Tomlin has a defensive mind of the highest order and these changes should compensate for the lack of talent in the backfield. it's the right way to go. Also as pointed out before it should allow the younger players, especially the DB's, to get on the field faster instead of waiting until their rookie contracts are up to see them finally flourish and move on!

Anonymous said...

Dale I love the blog and your insight however this ....
"If Brady was innocent, as he claims, why destroy the phone? If he was innocent, why wouldn't he simply turn it over?"
has come up all too often and forgive me but I do not agree. There are many reasons he may not wish too turn over the phone and his not doing so proves nothing other than he didn't want to turn it over for "some reason". Perhaps there is something on there he didn't want in the public domain. Could he have had conversations with someone about something that would embarrass himself or someone else? We can all let our imaginations run wild with this. How many celebrities (including quarterbacks) have had the context of their texts come to light to their suffering?

To be clear I believe Mr. Brady was not only aware of the deflation but actually orchestrated it based on the evidence presented (traffic analysis, context of texts from attendants etc.). But him not wanting to share his private conversations is not, in my opinion, damning at all.

Qwikdoc said...

I agree with Anonymous 8:42. Personally I think Brady was up to his eyeballs in deflategate and probably had been doing it for years. I doubt it had much impact on their dominance in the NFL over Brady's tenure though.
It is quite possible, as anonymous points out, that Brady had personally embarrassing info on the phone he didn't want being made public. I don't blame him for destroying it.

Anonymous said...

The nfl agreed to have his texts looked at by a third party and all texts not relating to the investigation would be kept from the nfl. This is apparently common in investigations and there would be no way his texts would become public.

Qwikdoc said...

@anonymous 10:00 "there would be no way his texts would become public"

Your naivete is showing

ibygeorge said...

So, "I have nothing to hide" Tomboy, coincidently destroys his cell phone around the same time of an investigation not because it may have evidence for the case but it may prove he is a bigger a hole that he thinks we don't already know.
By the way, Verizon does keep the Metadata of who those texts went to. Hmmm.. I wonder if they destroyed their phones too.

Anonymous Brian said...

I hope the legal stuff gets Brady available for the opener. More exciting that way.

Can Dri Archer return punts yet?

Marc said...

Personally, I hope it drags out in the courts and ultimately upheld for Brady to miss the playoffs. It was my belief all along he should be suspended playoff games for cheating in playoff games.

Anonymous said...

The defense still stinks.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Marc. I've wanted Brady to play the opener this whole time, and him missing a playoff game, even if only one, is just desserts. Unless he's playing us in the playoffs

datruth4life said...

Dale, your winners and losers today? Gotta give it up to Ken Laird for giving an award to the first player who threw up in Steelers camp this year with the pads on - B.J. Finney. I guess that's why many NFL players go out to Scottsdale, Ariz. and Miami, Fla. to train in the offseason to get used to that heat.

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