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Bell gives credit where credit is due

It was a season that didn't end the way he wanted, finishing it sidelined for the Wild Card playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens. But there is no denying it was an amazing year for Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell.

"I think this year was a good individual performance for me," said Bell.
"I haven't stopped and really looked at it. The year went really fast. When I go back and look at the games, I see some of the things I did and am happy, but a lot of credit goes to the guys up front. The offensive line did a tremendous job of opening holes for me this year. You have to give those guys credit."

Bell, in his second season, set a Steelers' record with 2,215 yards from scrimmage this year, finishing second in the NFL in that category. He also set a single season Steelers' record for running backs in receptions with 83 and receiving yards with 854. It didn't stop there as Bell set a record with the most first downs in a season with 114 and rushed for the fifth-most yards (1,361) in a single season in team history.

Like Bell said, he couldn't do it alone and having a healthy offensive line throughout the season was paramount in his success. Center Maurkice Pouncey, who was injured in the season opener in 2013, was healthy all year. Kelvin Beachum solidified his role as the starting left tackle all year, while David DeCastro was a steady force at right guard the entire season. Ramon Foster missed two games early in the season at left guard, but Cody Wallace stepped right in, and while a powerful Marcus Gilbert missed four games at right tackle, Mike Adams stepped right in.

"It was huge," said Bell. "Last year I got hurt at the beginning of the season, Pouncey got hurt at the beginning of the season. We had guys shuffling in and out, playing positions they don't normally play. This year I came in healthy, Pouncey was healthy, the whole line was healthy. Those guys worked and worked throughout the season. You could tell as the season wore on those guys continued to get better.

"They are a young offensive line and I am excited about next year and what these guys can do opening holes for me, and they are just going to keep getting better."

Bell was also quick to give credit to those who don't often receive it for the success of the ground game, the tight ends and fullback who do a lot of the dirty work and whose blocks sprung Bell for some long runs.

"Matt Spaeth, Heath Miller, Will Johnson, those guys are unsung heroes," said Bell. "They aren't mentioned with the offensive line, with the rushing stats. They don't credit for the blocks because they aren't the offensive line technically.

"They do a lot of offensive line things, pulling, drive blocking, pass protection. The tight ends and fullback have a lot of the offensive line work and receiving work. They are kind of in the middle. You have to give credit to Heath, Spaeth and Will Johnson."

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