After not knowing what to expect out of his rookie running back before Pittsburgh’s previous game against Minnesota, Ben Roethlisberger had plenty of positive things to say about Le’Veon Bell’s performance earlier this week.
While Roethlisberger’s comments were certainly flattering to Bell, the former Michigan State Spartan appears to be more focused on improving and helping his team out above anything else according to Scott Brown of ESPN.com:
I don’t want to buy into too much of the praise, … I don’t want to buy into too much of the criticism. I just want to say [sic] level-headed and keep going out there and make plays. The fact that I’m getting compliments like that from my teammates is good for me. I’ve got to do the right things and hopefully more will come.
For a guy with only one professional game under his belt, Bell seems to understand what it will take for him to improve and emerge as a successful player at the NFL-level.
Although his performance was overshadowed by the loss, Bell had a solid rookie debut against the Vikings in London. Overall, Bell racked up 57 yards on the ground, two rushing touchdowns, and 27 yards on four catches. The sad part about those stats is the fact that the rookie could have had a more successful day running the football had the Steelers not been behind 34-17 in the middle of the third quarter.
Regardless of how many touches Bell received, his debut was promising enough to warrant praise from his teammates like Roethlisberger. Moreover, his presence in the lineup provides Pittsburgh’s offense with their most potent threat in the running game as well as a complimentary piece in the passing game.
The Steelers will need Bell to be ready to “make plays” this weekend against the Jets, and the rookie should receive plenty of chances to contribute in multiple facets on the offensive side of the ball at MetLife Stadium.
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