Le'Veon Bell: Big Ben 'a factor' in leaving Steelers

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Is Ben Roethlisberger the reason the Steelers' 'Killer Bs' no longer exist in Pittsburgh?

Antonio Brown clearly took issue with how the quarterback operated during his accomplished mission to get traded. Now, Le'Veon Bell admits how Big Ben runs the show in Pittsburgh played a role in his desire to escape.

In a lengthy, enlightening interview with Jenny Vrentas of Sports Illustrated, Bell said Roethlisberger wasn't the singular reason in wanting to leave Pittsburgh, but "yes, it was a factor."

Bell took issue with how Roethlisberger handled his leadership role, which included sometimes blasting teammates during his weekly radio spot.

"Quarterbacks are leaders; it is what it is," Bell told Vrentas. "(But) you're still a teammate at the end of the day. You're not Kevin Colbert. You're not [team president Art] Rooney."

Elsewhere in the article, Bell admits had the Steelers structured their contracts with more fully guaranteed money, he'd have signed the deal last year, which suggests the issues with Roethlisberger's leadership tactics were a resolvable impediment.

The complaint about how Big Ben goes about policing the locker room aligns with Brown's critique of the quarterback.

Bell added that Roethlisberger is a "great quarterback" but often takes his biases and preferences with him between the lines.

"The organization wants to win. Tomlin wants to win. Ben wants to win -- but Ben wants to win his way, and that's tough to play with," Bell said. "Ben won a Super Bowl, but he won when he was younger. Now he's at this stage where he tries to control everything, and [the team] let him get there."

Bell added: "So if I'm mad at a player and I'm not throwing him the ball -- if I'm not throwing A.B. the ball and I'm giving JuJu [Smith-Schuster] all the shine or Jesse [James] or Vance [McDonald] or whoever it is, and you know consciously you're making your other receiver mad but you don't care -- it's hard to win that way."

It's clear management has given Roethlisberger free rein to lead the Steelers how he sees fit, an autonomy earned by the future Hall of Famer. Perhaps that power led to the breakup of the top triplets in the NFL.

Click here to read Vrentas' entire intriguing story on Bell, including the floating process on his decision to ultimately skip the entire 2018 season.

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