LATROBE, Pa. -- Le'Veon Bell's absence from Steelers camp couldn't have been more stark Thursday. Antonio Brown, who has lobbied for Bell to join him in camp for the start of what the Steelers hope will be a Super Bowl push, made a slick, one-handed catch over the middle during practice, prompting coach Mike Tomlin to jokingly challenge him to catch the ball with no hands.
"Show me your new [stuff]," Tomlin said.
That was Thursday afternoon, around the same time Bell posted Snapchat videos of himself working out in South Florida.
Those scenarios will continue, at least for a few more days.
Bell is consulting with Elite Footwork specialist Rischad Whitfield in Miami for a five-day stretch that ends early next week, Whitfield told ESPN.
"I feel sorry for these opposing teams' defenses this season," Whitfield said. "Le'Veon will be hell to deal with on the field. It's the best I've seen him look, train. His focus is incredible and super-driven and determined to be the best RB in the NFL."
Bell's workouts with Whitfield all but ensure Bell won't report to the Steelers until the middle of next week, at the earliest, because of a contract impasse. A late August return seems more likely.
Over this five-day stretch, Bell will be working on quick-twitch footwork, change of direction, body control and running back-specific drills, Whitfield said.
Bell has posted several videos of himself running routes or pulling a weight sled. The Steelers can watch those videos, but otherwise Bell might as well be galaxies away as the team grinds away in Latrobe.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he has sent a few unanswered texts to Bell and has no idea when Bell will return. When he does, the team will welcome him. But for now, they are moving on.
Brown's Bentley wheels wait for no one.