Six days after former Kansas City Chiefs running back Le’Veon Bell made waves with a critical Instagram comment suggesting he’d retire before ever playing for Andy Reid again, the veteran head coach addressed the issue head on.
Asked for his reaction to the situation during his final minicamp media availability on Thursday, June 17, Reid took the high road.
“Listen, I really enjoyed my time with him here,” Reid told reporters. “I appreciated the way he handled things and did his business. He had some productive downs for us. I’m pulling for him in the future. That’s how I roll. [If] people say things, they say things — I move on. I wish him the best.”
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Bell Reveals Reason for Problem in Limited Twitter Apology
With his name all over the headlines, the 29-year-old free agent running back attempted to clarify his stance on Twitter on Sunday, June 13. Bell began a string of five tweets by revealing he has a “personal problem” with the ninth-year Chiefs coach.
“I said what I said & I don’t regret at all what I said…for those who have a PERSONAL PROBLEM with me because of what I SAID, that’s fine…you have your right! just understand I ALSO have MY RIGHT for how I feel about MY PERSONAL problem with dude because of what HE SAID to me,” Bell wrote.
After sharing that he enjoyed “just about everything in KC” during his brief stint last season, Bell offered an apology of sorts — albeit a very specific one.
“I’m not about to get all into depth on why I feel the way I do, but I have my right to feel the way I feel…the ONLY thing I would change is commenting how i really felt on social media…,” Bell continued. “I’ll admit that’s somethin I could’ve and should’ve kept to myself & I apologize about that and that only… but I don’t regret what I said, because that’s how I feel…so you can love me or hate me, I’m gonna be fine regardless … I’m just giving you a small version from my point of view on why I said what I said …”
Bell seemingly took a separate shot at Reid and former New York Jets head coach Adam Gase in a separate May 27 Twitter string, telling a fan, “I probably need to play for a defensive minded head coach instead of these offensive minded guru’s.”
In nine games (two starts) in the Chiefs’ top-ranked offense, Bell managed 353 scrimmage yards (254 rushing) and two touchdowns on 76 touches (13 receptions) working in tandem with first-round rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Even with Reid rooting for his future success, the former Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro remains unsigned as teams across the NFL wrap up mandatory minicamps and break before the start of training camp in July.
Tyrann Mathieu, Travis Kelce Chime in on Bell’s Comments
Also speaking to the media on Thursday, defensive leader Tyrann Mathieu was asked why he believes Bell feels the way he does, and the response struck a similar tone to that of his head coach.
“I’m not sure,” Mathieu admitted. “Obviously, I felt like he was a great teammate when he was here. Things don’t go our way. It’s a performance-based business and it’s a lot of things that determine our performance, right? It’s not just what we do on the football field.
“I’m wishing him the best. I’m hoping things get better for him, but this is probably one of the finest organizations I’ve ever been a part of as far as the locker room and our coaches. … I do feel like coach Reid and his staff, they’re some of the best people and coaches I’ve been around.”
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, also asked about the situation during his Tuesday press conference, shared that he was “surprised” by Bell’s feelings.
“I was excited when we got him. I was hoping that he was going to be able to help us out a lot,” Kelce said on June 15. “You never like to see things like that, especially when I think so highly of a guy like Le’Veon and coach Reid. I don’t know, it’s just unfortunate. … I don’t know what happened between them. I just appreciate Le’Veon coming in and working as hard as he did because I know it was a unique and different situation that he was in.”
Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!