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On The Field: Le'Veon Bell

Posted May 24, 2013


Rookie Running Back Le'Veon Bell talked after an OTA session:

How do you feel after a few days of practice?
I feel good. I went out there and had a great practice today. It just feels good to be back out on the field and practicing with the veterans. I’m doing good and had a good day of practice.

Is anything overwhelming?
No, not really. There are a lot of things that are kind of eye-opening. The first practice when I was watching the veterans go at it, I was like, “Wow, this is way different.” After I got in there the first couple times, everything kind of fell into place, and I’m doing fine now.

How has it been working with the other running backs?
All of us are real close guys. Me and Jonathan Dwyer have the same agent, so I already knew him prior to this. Me and Isaac [Redman] and everybody, we’re already close guys. The relationship is good.

Do you sense there will be a competition for the running back job?
Most definitely. There is always going to be competition but it’s going to be friendly competition. We’re all going to push each other and make each other better. At the end of the day, we’re going to make the team better by making each other better. That’s all we want to do is go out there and compete.

Do you have a chance to be the starter your first year here?
I’m going to try to be. I’m not going to say I am going to be the guy. I’m just going to go out there and compete. That’s the best I can do. I can’t make any decisions for anybody else. I just want to go out there, do what I can do and try to impress coaches and players, just try to get on the field and play my role.

Do you think a team needs a number-one running back, or can it work as a running back by committee?
Running back by committee is always fine. I did that at Michigan State. I ran by committee, and one year I was the guy. I’m able to play with both scenarios, whatever they may be. I’m ready for anything. I’m ready to go out here and compete.

Do you feel you’re a better running back if you get the ball more?
I feel like every running back would. Being in a rhythm, the more carries you get the more feel you get for a defense, and the more rhythm you get in the game. Of course, that would be the case if you get the ball more times.

How much studying are you doing right now?
A lot. I keep my head in the playbook, especially when I’m here. When I go back to the apartment, I might just chill for a little bit, take a little break from it, but I always keep my head in there and I’m always watching film. That’s one thing I like doing. I just like watching football in general anyways. I might just throw in a game and watch it, maybe not even just breaking it down, but watching how the game is played could always help me out. That’s the thing that I do.

Is it coming easy to you? Does a guy like Ben Roethlisberger ever help you out?
Oh yeah. He definitely helps me out a lot. He always makes sure I know what I’m doing. There are a lot of times I know for sure what I’m doing but he always is making sure. Coach Tomlin picks on me and says he holds my hand. We’re just out here having fun. The game is starting to come to me quicker than I thought it would be. The first time I saw the playbook I was like, “Woah.” I’m starting to pick up everything. I didn’t mess up on any assignments the last three days, and I’m picking up everything good.

What did you think when your offensive coordinator compared you to Eddie George?
That has to make you feel good to be compared to a guy like that:
Most definitely. I mean it’s Eddie George. He’s a Hall of Famer. I don’t know. Eddie George, I guess I have similar running style. I’m not saying I’m an Eddie George. I’m a taller, slimmer type of guy. I don’t know. I guess my running style is compared to his. That was my first time hearing that today.

Who do you compare yourself to?
I really don’t think I run like anybody. I’m kind of a balanced runner. I’m a bigger guy but I’m not going to look at myself as a bruiser, and I don’t look at myself as a scat back either. I’m just a balanced guy. I’m a bigger guy who can make moves. I can get tough yardage and catch the ball out of the backfield. There are a lot of things I bring to the game. I don’t really emulate somebody else’s running style. I just kind of try to have my own and take bits and pieces of everybody’s game, players that I used to watch, and I kind of put it in my game.

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