PITTSBURGH - Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert sat down with 13 members of the local media on Thursday.
No cameras were permitted at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, where Colbert spoke on the record about a variety of subjects including the status of negotiations on a new contract for Le'Veon Bell, Ryan Shazier's injury and his thoughts on the team's failure to win a playoff game last season.
Colbert said Shazier is at the team's South Side facility on a daily basis and added, "From a physical standpoint, he's continuing to work to overcome this injury." Colbert also praised Shazier's attitude.
"Ryan does as much for us as we do for him. Never once has he said, 'Why me?'" Colbert said.
Colbert acknowledged that Shazier's absence contributed to the shortcomings of the Steelers defense.
"Not having Ryan was a big part of that," he said.
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I asked Colbert whether he's optimistic about a new contract for running back Le'Veon Bell.
"I believe I am, but we'll never discount the use of the (franchise) tag," he said.
During the Steelers playoff run, Bell said that, if the Steelers used the franchise tag on him again, he'd consider retirement.
Colbert has a simple assessment of last season's shortcomings. He said, "None of us were good enough last year.
He believes the Steelers were simply outplayed in the playoff loss to Jacksonville.
"You don't get over a defeat. You try to get through it," he said.
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