Le'Veon Bell: "I Don't Want To Be A Distraction To Teammates Or Steelers Nation"

LATROBE (KDKA) — The rain put a damper on the Steelers first day at Saint Vincent College for training camp.

The players began arriving at the campus in Latrobe this morning as thunderstorms boomed overhead.

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While some arrived last night, many of them started filtering in around 11 a.m. They had to report by 4 p.m.

Ramon Foster was one of the first to pull up.

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It’s fun,” he said. “I think everybody’s excited. You leave for the summer and you come back, guys look different. You separate from each other; it’s just good to be back. It’ll be a fun few days here.”

Foster was hoping the sun would come out in time for the run and conditioning test this afternoon, but no such luck on this gloomy day.

(Photo Credit: Rich Walsh/KDKA)

(Photo Credit: Rich Walsh/KDKA)

“As I said on my Twitter, I think the rain will depart and the sun will come out before the conditioning test, so we’ll see,” Foster said.

While the rain did let up a little, there was still a light drizzle as the players began taking the field.

Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell addressed the media over allegations he is facing a four-game suspension for missing drug tests.

He told reporters he apologized to his teammates for the distraction and will let the appeals process play out.

“I don’t want to be a distraction to my teammates or to Steelers Nation,” Bell said.

Bell says he was first notified of the suspension in March.

Head Coach Mike Tomlin says Bell’s appeal won’t be heard until the second week of August.

Le’Veon did say he is ready to play after suffering a knee injury last season.

“If Coach Tomlin sees what I can do, he don’t really have to play me in the preseason, regular season is what I’m shooting for,” Bell said.

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One Steeler who arrived in style was Antonio Brown. He pulled up this afternoon in his black and gold Rolls Royce.

(Photo Credit: Rich Walsh/KDKA)

(Photo Credit: Rich Walsh/KDKA)

(Photo Credit: Rich Walsh/KDKA)

(Photo Credit: Rich Walsh/KDKA)

Meanwhile, it was players only today, but the campus opens to the fans on Friday.

“Fans typically line up early in the morning, but they are not able to get in our parking lots until noon and shortly thereafter, they are able to get on campus,” said Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten.

When the seating and autograph areas open, flag runners will lead the run on opening day to the best spots.

Latuen says that Coach Tomlin, “makes it a point to tell the players in one of their meetings, ‘Hey, make sure you take the time for the fans to sign autographs.’ So, it will be fun.”

Some fans seeking autographs will misidentify a player sometimes, but Lauten says they take it all in stride.

“The funny thing is they talk about it sometimes and they end up joking around with each other more than anything…they understand that if you don’t have that jersey on and you don’t have your number on, it’s very easy to mix-up folks that you’re not used to seeing around,” said Lauten.

There are also some new twist this year as the fans enjoy the usual interactive fan experience; and this weekend, the NFL Network Fan Activation Zone will be set up, including your chance to get up close and personal with a couple of Steelers legends.

“Mel Blount and Rocky Bleier are going to be here participating in our NFL Fan Experience. It will be both Saturday and Sunday on campus,” said Lauten.

Inside the merchandise tents you’ll find some new items this year, including a flag-backed Terrible Towel, one for mom, and one sporting the bling of six Super Bowl victories.

And, as always at Training Camp, some exclusive items.

“We have t-shirts for men, women, and new this year, we have Training Camp t-shirts for boys and girls. So, the entire family can be outfitted in their Training Camp t-shirts,” said Susan McGalla, the Steelers’ vice president of merchandising.

There are also training camp hats, and everything you need for autographs.

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