Westbrook: You Never Discuss Another Man's Contract

By criticizing teammate Le'Veon Bell, several Steelers are violating an unwritten code, Brian Westbrook said

The DA Show
September 06, 2018 - 11:18 am

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As a former All-Pro running back, Brian Westbrook understand why Le’Veon Bell is holding out. What he doesn’t understand, however, is teammates demonizing Bell for trying to get a better contract.

“One of the things I learned – and was told early on in my career – you never talk about another man’s contract or holdout situation,” Westbrook said on The DA Show. “The truth is, you never know if you’re going to be in that situation next year or the years to come. The brotherhood, the locker room, should always stick together. In some ways, it was us – the players – versus the ownership, especially when it came down to the bargaining table when you’re trying to get a contract. So it certainly was surprising to hear some of his offensive linemen – the guys that help him get the yards, of course, but he also helps them look a little bit better than they are as well. It was surprising to see those guys come out and speak about Le’Veon and his ability to get a contract.”

DA wonders if Bell’s teammates are upset because they feel they have a legitimate chance to win a Super Bowl this season – and that Bell is potentially ruining that.

“That may be part of it,” Westbrook said, “but the truth is, those expectations should be placed on the ownership group as well. They should be placed on the GM as well to get the deal done. He’s one of the best running backs in the league – and I think if you look over the last five, six years, he is the best running back statistically in the league. You should pay that man. You should reward him for the things that he’s brought to that team. He’s a multi-purpose running back that can get you yards in the pass game as well as the run game, does a really good job of blocking and making sure there’s a pocket for Ben to throw the ball down the field. That’s the type of guy you should reward. He’s not an old player. He’s a guy that’s been doing it for a long time and still has a lot of good years left in him. I’m shocked that the Steelers haven't found a way to pay him.”

Westbrook, who played for the Eagles from 2002-09, also weighed in on Doug Pederson, who got testy with reporters Sunday when asked about his starting quarterback for Week 1. Nick Foles will start Thursday against Atlanta, as Carson Wentz continues to recover from a torn ACL.

“I think that at some point Doug felt Carson would be back,” Westbrook said. “Everyone knows it’s a 6-to-12-month injury to come back from an ACL and LCL. I think Doug as a head coach, of course you want your star player, your MVP candidate, back and ready to play. At some point, I believe Doug saw the writing on the wall that basically said Carson wont be back. You’re going to have to go to war with Nick Foles, who just didn’t look very good in the preseason. You kind of combine that with the reporters wanting updates and wanting to know more information – and when there’s no information to give and you just gave that same update to 10 other reporters – I believe it would get to any coach. The truth is, I think snarky Doug, snarky coaches, are here to stay. I don’t think that’s going to change very much in the future.”