Antonio Brown supports Le'Veon Bell but says 'the first rule of getting better is showing up'

Star Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell is not present at the team's voluntary OTAs. He's once again staying away from the team's facility because he wants a new contract. Bell eventually relented and played out the 2017 season on the franchise tag, but there's no telling if he'll do the same this time around. 

At least one of his teammates has some advice for him. Here's Antonio Brown addressing Bell's situation.

"He's an individual, he's a professional, he's got to do what is professional for him and his family," Brown said. "Obviously, I just know the way that works."

It was reported earlier this offseason that Bell is looking for a contract on par with Brown's, which pays $17 million per year. That would make him by far the highest-paid running back in the NFL. The Steelers used the tag on him and eventually put a pause on negotiations, saying they had other pressing business (like the draft) to take care of. 

Pittsburgh did not end up drafting Bell's potential replacement high in the draft, as GM Kevin Colbert hinted they might. So he does have some degree of leverage in the situation, but the Steelers are likely also comfortable going year-to-year on the tag. Whether he gets paid or not, Brown is confident that whenever Bell reports, he's going to dominate on the field. 

"We all know Le'Veon is a competitor and he's always highly conditioned," Brown said. "We know he's going to be taking care of his body and be highly conditioned. One thing about Le'Veon that makes him special is he takes this game seriously; there's never a doubt about his (commitment) to the game. He's physically ready.

"I know when he walks into the building, when he shows up, you know what you're going to get: you're gonna get a guy ready to take 400, 500 carries, a guy who's willing to run, to catch the ball, a guy who can do it all."

Of course, in order to get to the level he usually plays at, Brown thinks Bell has to show up.

"Well, the first rule of getting better is showing up," Brown said. "You can't make anything better without showing up. So I think if you show up, I think everyone will understand where you want to be. That you wants to be here not just this year but for years to come. Come out here and show up, show you want to get better and show guys you're serious."

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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