Now that he's back on the field, Le'Veon Bell intends to do whatever it takes to stay on the field.
"Now I just know I have to take extra precaution of getting down or protecting," Bell said. "I'll just make sure I take care of myself."
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Bell suffered a season-ending knee injury last Nov. 1 against the Bengals.
In 2014, a knee injury sustained against Cincinnati prevented Bell from playing in the playoffs against Baltimore.
So he intends to be more careful this time around, against the Bengals and whatever other teams show up on the Steelers' schedule.
"I feel like I just have to protect myself," said Bell.
That includes protecting himself from rushing back too fast.
"Right now, I am just trying to do what the coaches tell me to do," said Bell. "They are trying to protect me from myself. I am listening to those people, taking care of my body, doing what I can. They are getting me back into it slowly. Right now, I feel like I could do everything. But obviously, they are going to protect me from myself, like I said, and really take it slow for me."
Bell addressed a number of other subjects upon completion of the first of the Steelers' 10 scheduled OTAs.
The confidence he has in his repaired knee: "Obviously, when I come back out here, my first time cutting, my first time doing things, you kind of think about it. It's more mental because I know my knee is strong enough to do everything. It's kind of like mental because I haven't done it in a long time. I think once I get rid of that mental relapse I'll be just fine."
The Steelers participate in Day 1 of the 2016 Organized Team Activities at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
Whether he's injury prone:** "It's not like I'm out here tweaking my hamstrings or spraining my ankles. Obviously, it was just two nasty tackles that I had. Even when I hurt my foot my rookie year I felt like it was just unfortunate. Before these last three years I've never been injured in football. My luck, hopefully, should change this year and I'll be on the field."
Returning to the field for OTA No. 1: "It felt amazing just to be back out here with my teammates, just being out here in practice, in the huddle, it felt good. I'm just glad to be back out here."
The Steelers' offense in 2016: "We should be even better this year. Obviously, we have playmakers all over the field. We just have to continue to get better. We have to use OTAs as a leverage point. We know where we were last year. We have to kind of pick up from where we were last year and get better."