Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bell Appreciates Ovation from Fans Performance Improves in Second Game

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bell Appreciates Ovation from Fans Performance Improves in Second Game

Article excerpt

Le'Veon Bell has more than 1 million followers on his Twitter and Instagram accounts, and he hasn't been immune to the criticism he has received from Steelers fans.

He reads the comments in his notifications and is well aware the paying customers haven't been thrilled about his decision to turn down $12 million annually.

So when the Steelers decided to introduce their offense Sunday before their home opener at Heinz Field it created some drama. Would the fans boo or would they cheer?

The 65,971 cheered and the moment meant a lot to Bell.

"Truthfully, I didn't think about it until I ran out and heard the ovation," Bell said. "I look back on it, and it's amazing I got that ovation because I get some much mixed emotions on Twitter and Instagram and things like that. It was good to feel the crowd.

"They made a crazy ovation. That meant a lot to me."

Bell's second game was much better than his first. After rushing for just 32 yards in the opener against the Cleveland Browns, he rushed for 87 yards on 27 carries Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

It was hardly a dominating performance, but it was enough to loosen up a stout Vikings defense and create some one-on-one opportunities for Steelers receivers. Martavis Bryant had 91 yards receiving and a touchdown, and Antonio Brown added 62 receiving yards. They also drew pass interference penalties of 22 and 49 yards.

"I think us running the ball against that front seven, not allowing those guys to pin their ears back and just rush the quarterback, keeping those guys honest helped a lot," Bell said.

"Those guys are good up front. With us keeping the balance between running and passing, keeping them guessing really helped us get the W."

One of the biggest differences between the first and second game was Bell's usage. Against Cleveland he touched the ball just 13 times.

Against the Vikings, he touched the ball 13 times by halftime.

He had 10 touches on the first three drives, two of which produced touchdowns. …

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