To say that Le'Veon Bell has carried the load for the offense is a massive understatement.
Bell has been a workhorse for the Steelers this season, carrying the ball 261 times for 1,268 yards. He also had 75 receptions for 616 yards.
>>> READ: Bell wins MVP honors
They are numbers that earned him his team's MVP honor, but not numbers that surprised him.
The best photos of RB Le'Veon Bell from the 2016 season.
"I wouldn't necessarily say it surprised me," said Bell. "I think I came into the season prepared for it. When I train in the offseason, when I go through practice and I condition, I train like I'm going to get the ball 40 times. I may not, but I want to be prepared for it. I think when I get in the game I want it to be a lot easier of a feeling than practice. I go out to practice on Wednesday and Thursday and I'm way more exhausted than I am in the game. So I train like that.
"I'm not necessarily saying I'd be surprised by how much they give me the ball. I come in prepared for that. They know I train like that. And they know I do whatever it takes for us to win the game."
It's no coincidence that during the Steelers six-game winning streak Bell carried the ball 161 times for 835 yards, getting the ground game going when a time in the season dictates the necessity of it.
"Usually when we get to the end of the year, the weather starts to kind of affect games a little bit," said Bell. "So I think once we got to a point where we saw we had a big guy in, whether the defense knew we were running the ball or not, they have to go out there and stop you. I think over the course of the year the offensive line continually got better, we got more confident in the run and every play that was called we just felt like it could work. And I think at the end of the year we came in with a game plan of 'We want to run the ball, slow the clock, and kind of take the pride away from defenses.'"
Bell said he was honored to win the award for the second time in his young career, previously doing so in 2014. But he made it clear he couldn't have done it on his own, making sure to thank his coaches and teammates, both on offense and defense, but especially his offensive line and Ben Roethlisberger.
"I want to thank God for blessing me to play the game of football," said Bell. "I want to thank the offensive line. Those guys did an amazing job throughout the course of the year, continually got better. Those guys put their hearts on the line for me, and those guys deserve just as much credit as I get. They don't get as much credit as they deserve, but those guys really put their hearts on the line and do whatever it takes for me to get yards. They take care of me. When I'm in piles, or guys are on me doing all types of dirty things, the offensive line is going to protect me.
"I've got to thank Ben (Roethlisberger). He, obviously, puts me in great situations being the player that he is, taking all the right checks, trusting me being his second-best or his second-most reliable pass catcher that he depends on throughout the year. He put me in good situations running the ball, just putting all of his trust in me."
Bell said he voted for Antonio Brown for MVP, impressed with the job he did this season.
"Antonio Brown is a guy who is also deserving of the award," said Bell. "I think he had a great, great season. He deserves the award just as much as I do."
More from Bell:
On if it will be hard to not play in Week 17: "A little bit. I want to play. I definitely don't like watching football games. I feel like I've watched a lot of football games over the last couple years. I understand, like you said, the bigger picture, me getting into the playoffs healthy, so we can have a run in the playoffs. Because if we get to the Super Bowl and win it, I'm not going to be thinking about Week 17 against the Browns and I didn't play. I'm thinking about the bigger picture, us making a run. Not necessarily playing Week 17 where whether we win or lose, it doesn't affect our seed or anything like that. I want to make sure I'm healthy, and get in there and make a run."
On how he would describe his running style: "I obviously think I'm a patient runner. I try to be patient because I trust my guys up front. My guys up front, they do a lot of work. I wouldn't know how to necessarily describe the way I run. I really couldn't explain it to people. It's just kind of like, I feel it. There are certain times where maybe I feel more patient than other times. I guess it really depends on how the defense is playing me because it can vary from week-to-week."
On winning MVP honors for the second time:
"It means a lot to win the award the second time. I think the fact that my teammates voted for me, my peers, the guys that I go to work with every day, the fact that I haven't even played a full season this year, coming off of the injury and my suspension, they still voted me team MVP. It means everything in the world to me. Whatever it was, overcoming my knee and training, I think those guys respect the way I handled myself over the course of the year. And that's why I think they voted me team MVP."
On what it's going to be like playing in his first playoff game: "It's going to be amazing. It's something that I have been wanting to do the last four years. I'm glad that this year I'll actually be able to. It's something that I look forward to. The last couple of years I've been injured going into the playoffs. I haven't been there for the team. So I think this year it's a great opportunity for me and my teammates to go to the playoffs with lot of us being healthy. Hopefully all of us can get healthy and we get in there and continue this run."