Le'Veon Bell is counting the days.
His four-year wait is about to come to an end.
"I'm obviously real anxious and excited," Bell said, looking ahead to Sunday's playoff encounter with the Dolphins. "It's a blessing, the fact I'll be able to make it to this point in this journey. It's going to be good to get out there with my teammates, go to battle with those guys and see if we can make a run in these playoffs."
The Steelers went 8-8 in 2013, Bell's rookie season, and didn't qualify for the playoffs.
Bell was injured in 2014 and again last season and missed the postseason each season.
"I'm going to go out there and play football," Bell said. "I don't want to go into a game thinking, 'Oh, it's my first playoff game.' When we played Baltimore two weeks ago, I wasn't going in thinking, 'Oh, this is for a division.' I was just going in there playing football, that's what I do.
The Steelers prepare for the Wild Card matchup against the Miami Dolphins.
I want to go out there and play football, have fun, do what I do. All the rest of it just kind of comes naturally.
"I don't want to put too much thought into it."
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he's talked to Bell about what running back Terrell Davis did for quarterback John Elway in the playoffs in Denver, and Bell has thought about that.
"You think about two great players who won Super Bowls and did amazing things," Bell said. "Ben even bringing up that story to me, he's basically saying he expects a lot from me.
"I humbly take that. He understands what I can do out there, how I can help this team out, how I can help him out. In that same respect, I know all the things he's done for me, how he makes my job easier. We gotta go out there and get the job done.
"I know how hyped I'm going to be. I think I deserve it. This is going to be my first playoff game in my fourth year in the league. I'm going to be pumped and I need that. I need to keep my energy up, help my teammates feed off my energy, let them know how important this game is to me. I obviously want to go out there and show some people what I can do."
RYAN'S HOPE: Miami head coach Adam Gase said in a conference call with the Pittsburgh media that Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill didn't practice today by design.
"We're going through our process," Gase said.
Tannehill has been out since suffering a knee injury on Dec. 11 against Arizona.
Gase said Tannehill has to practice before the Dolphins would consider playing him against the Steelers, but added one practice would be enough for Tannehill to warrant such consideration.
"It would be for him," Gase said. "His knowledge of the offense is above everybody else's. For me it's all about how is he going to move when he gets bodies around him and be able to be evasive?
"I need to see him move around with traffic around him, how his escapability is. A lot of his game has been movement throughout his career. To all of a sudden just throw him back there and say, 'Don't move, and if anybody gets close to you go down,' that's not really an option for us. That's not really his style of football."