During a radio appearance with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith at Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis, running back Le’Veon Bell revealed that the former offensive coordinator didn’t always see eye to eye with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
“I feel like it was a lot of third downs Todd would maybe call something that Ben didn’t like,” Bell said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “There’s certain plays that Ben didn’t like. As a player, you’ve always got plays that you like, plays you dislike. It would be a big situation, and Todd would call a play that Ben don’t necessarily like, and he tried to go out there and just execute it because the play is called.”
“Randy’s only kind of going to give Ben what he wants, you know, make him comfortable,” Bell said. “Because third downs, that’s the biggest thing, that was our Achilles heel was third downs and red zone.”
The Steelers finished the regular season 13-3 before their hopes of winning a seventh Super Bowl were halted one game into the playoffs, though they opened at 8-1 odds Monday behind the Patriots and Eagles to win the championship next season.
As if an extra obstacle had to be put in their path, Philly had to beat the defending champions and the defining dynasty of this generation, the Patriots, on Sunday night in Minneapolis to do it. And one more wall to scale: They did it with their backup quarterback, Nick Foles, instead of the second-year sensation they lost to a knee injury with a month remaining in the regular season, Carson Wentz.
Wentz was a serious NFL MVP candidate when he went down. Tom Brady won the award instead. Foles, though, has a trophy Brady couldn’t get, couldn’t add to the five he already possessed.
In years to come, that may be remembered as strongly as the fact the Eagles took their name off a short list they despised being on, the list of teams that have never won a Super Bowl. It was no small feat proving that Brady was not invincible, that beating him in the ultimate game was not the sole province of Eli Manning, and that even an MVP season at age 40 and an eighth trip to the Super Bowl in an unprecedented career wasn’t guaranteed to have a happy ending.
On the other hand, it won’t be forgotten that Foles won a Lombardi Trophy as a backup quarterback for the first time since … Brady did it in Super Bowl 36, the dawn of the dynasty. (Nor will it be forgotten that Foles helped himself by catching a touchdown pass , to go with the one he threw earlier.)