Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Chiming in More Often All Parties Agree That Le'veon Bell Will Make Bigger Impact before Long

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Chiming in More Often All Parties Agree That Le'veon Bell Will Make Bigger Impact before Long

Article excerpt

Not since his rookie season has Le'Veon Bell taken longer to rush for 100 yards.

The Steelers star back never played his first two games of any season in which he's had so few yards receiving (19).

Might he catch fire Sunday in Chicago along with the ball? When will the real Le'Veon Bell stand up?

"He's getting there," said guard David DeCastro.

"I think he's there," said center Maurkice Pouncey.

"We're going to continue to expand and get better," said Bell.

The question of rust or timing or whether he's in sync with his offense should no longer be a topic because he will have had three full weeks of practice and two games behind him heading to the one Sunday against the Bears.

He has run 37 times for an average of 3.2 yards per carry, not a large sample but he averaged 4.5 yards for his career entering the season. He has caught seven passes for 19 yards, an average of 2.7 yards compared to a career average of 8.8.

The Bears have been no pushover on the ground. They yield on average 60 yards through their first two games and 3.2 yards per carry.

No one seems worried that Bell won't be the kind of runner and receiver who averaged 157 yards from scrimmage per game last season, third most in NFL history.

But when?

"He just has to take full advantage of his opportunities," Pouncey said. "We have to do a better job of locking on guys and making sure he can get one on one, and most of the time he beats that guy."

Mike Tomlin thought he was close to having his first 100-yard game against the Minnesota Vikings, when he rushed for 87 yards on 27 carries.

"I thought the only thing that our run game lacked was the splash play," the coach said, "the 25-yard run or the 35-yard run. That turns an 80-something yard day for him to a 120-something yard day for him. …

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