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Steelers news: Maurkice Pouncey defends Le’Veon Bell’s decision to holdout

Earlier this week, star Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell finally set a return date from his holdout. Answering a question on Twitter, the Michigan State product said he’ll report to camp on September 1st.

There has been no shortage of takes on both sides of the equation. Some critics believe Bell’s decision to hold out will cause strife in Pittsburgh’s locker room. Others have sided with Bell, who is arguably the best running back in the NFL today.

Publicly at least, Le’Veon’s teammates have supported his decision. Starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he has “no hard feelings” toward Bell, although he’s excited for him to get back and into football shape.

Then, earlier today, center Maurkice Pouncey stated that if he was in Bell’s shoes, he would’ve done the same thing.

From an interview with ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler:

“People catch feelings about certain things. I think anybody in his situation would do the same exact thing. I would. We’ll see how things turn out. I’m pretty sure he’ll come in here and ball out like normal, things that Le’Veon does in the pass game and the running game.”

When asked if Le’Veon deserves a long-term deal, Pouncey said he understands where Bell is coming from, but he also gets the organization’s point of view.

“There’s a business part. At the end of the day, it doesn’t look like it on [the team executives’] side because they sit up there in the office every single day. As a player, you try to go out there and get as much as you can. Especially with the things that Le’Veon has been through and the production he’s put on the football field, he deserves a big-time contract. Who in the NFL wouldn’t say that? At the end of the day, it’s a business. That’s why the Steelers are one of the greatest organizations in all of football. They know what they are doing upstairs. No one down here questions it.”

If Bell follows through on his twitter declaration, he’ll be back at the Steelers facility next Friday.