Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Big Hit Had No Impact on Bell's Style

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Big Hit Had No Impact on Bell's Style

Article excerpt

It was one of the most violent hits of the 2013 NFL season.

Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell was hit so hard by Baltimore defenders Jimmy Smith and Courtney Upshaw that his helmet was knocked off and his unprotected head slammed off the artificial surface at M&T Bank Stadium. Bell does not remember much about the hit or the 22-20 loss against the Ravens on Thanksgiving, but he said the hit and resulting concussion did not alter the way he plays the game.

"Not at all," Bell said. "It's football. If I was in the same situation, I would do the same thing again. I would go right in there until I get in the end zone for my team. That's what we needed. It didn't change the way I run or the way I think about football. It's a violent sport. There will be hard hits everywhere."

But the hardest hits come near the goal line.

"In goal line, or short yardage, the bigger guys are in the game, so there is more of a chance to get hit hard," Bell said. "There will be more collisions. Guys are so much bigger on the interior and on the outside."

The Steelers signed 6-foot, 250-pound bruiser LeGarrette Blount over the offseason, and he is expected to be used in goal-line situations. That will prevent Bell from taking many of those big hits.

The Steelers ran three plays inside the Cleveland 10 Sunday. Bell carried the ball twice, one for no gain, the other a 4-yard touchdown run that was nullified by a holding penalty. Blount got the other carry and scored on a 7-yard run.

"I'm not a selfish player at all," Bell said. "When LeGarrette got in the end zone, I was more excited for him than he was probably. That was his first carry as a Steeler, and he got in the end zone."

Bell is coming off his best game as a Steeler. He had 109 rushing yards, including a 38-yard touchdown run, and six receptions for 88 yards against the Browns. …

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