All around threat: Le'Veon Bell felt no pain on Monday afternoon, and for the Steelers' running back, that was a great feeling.
Bell returned to the field on Sunday night against the Kansas City Chiefs, the first regular season game he has played in since Nov. 1, 2015. He finished the game with 18 carries for 144 yards and had five receptions for 34 yards, and no pain.
"The body feels great," said Bell. "I was a little surprised at how good I feel. I didn't take too many hits up top. I feel good overall."
While Bell made his mark on the ground game, something everyone expected, he was also utilized heavily in the passing game as a slot receiver, a role he enjoyed.
"I love it," said Bell. "Playing wide out, not even just catching the ball, but when DeAngelo (Williams) is at running back going in there and blocking the safety. They hit me all game. It's an opportunity to hit them. I love utilizing everything I can do to keep the defense off balance."
Bell credits Antonio Brown with helping him improve in the passing game, as watching him in practice is an education in itself.
"He helped me become a better route runner and he doesn't even know it," said Bell. "I watch him in practice. He is unguardable one-on-one. That is how I want to be and continue to get better."
Next man up: Sunday night was a first for safety Jordan Dangerfield and guard B.J. Finney, who made their first NFL starts due to an influx of injuries.
Dangerfield started for Rob Golden and relished the opportunity.
"It was a great feeling," said Dangerfield, who has been waiting for the opportunity since he first came into the NFL as a rookie free agent in 2013. "It was a dream come true. I know that sounds cliché, but it was. You just have to have faith and patience. Once the time comes you have to take advantage of it."
Finney, who stepped in for Ramon Foster, also enjoyed the experience and delivered just like Dangerfield did.
"It was a great experience," said Finney. "You can't describe it, put it in words, being able to run out of that tunnel. It was great. I was comfortable with the guys, they got comfortable with me. Those guys helped me along and kept me going. It was a good time."
The two are just the latest to embrace the Steelers' next man up mentality, and deliver when called upon.
"Coach (Mike) Tomlin has been preaching that mentality," said Dangerfield. "The organization preaches it. I saw guys do that before me. I knew when my time came I wanted to be prepared and do what I needed to do."