Peter King on Bell: 'He is the X-factor'

Peter King, the guru behind Sports Illustrated's MMQB, was at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Wednesday to talk with Le'Veon Bell for a story for Sunday's pregame show on NBC, who will televise the Steelers-Chiefs game.

King was focusing on Bell's patience in his running style, something that is unique and impresses him.

"He has become such a fascination for so many people," said King in a Steelers' Periscope interview. "I have covered the NFL for 32 years. I came in when Marcus Allen was maybe just past his prime. Marcus Allen ran a little bit like Le'Veon Bell. But no one I have ever seen virtually stops and surveys the thing and then goes. Every coach since the beginning of football has said go, get in there, and get as many yards as you can. He doesn't do that and it works. I don't want to say he is revolutionizing how to run the football, but he is different than anybody we have ever seen I think.  

"I look at him and say he is to me, in the AFC right now, the X-factor that Aaron Rodgers is to the NFC."

King said that using Bell, especially early, will be a key for the Steelers offense to help at least mellow what is going to be a loud Arrowhead Stadium crowd.

"I am positive Mike Tomlin is going to tell his guys that this is the loudest stadium in our conference," said King. "They are going to come out and nobody is going to be able to hear anybody for maybe the first quarter. Take their best punch. Just make sure you don't make the big mistake that is going to cost you the game.

"Sometimes in Kansas City teams get so overwhelmed because of the noise, it affects the way they play. This is a veteran team. I don't see any way it's going to affect the way they play. The way the Steelers need to take that crowd down is the consistency of Le'Veon Bell. Just continue to use him. That is what I would do if I was Mike Tomlin and Todd Haley. If the Steelers get the ball first, I think this could be a 10 or 12 carry first quarter for them because they want to grind out a couple of drives and take their crowd out of the game."

King knows, though, that it's not just about Bell and the offense. The Steelers defense is going to have to step up in the same manner they have over the past few weeks.

"The interesting thing about this defense is there are so many guys that can contribute," said King. "William Gay has swallowed the fountain of youth. What the Steelers do, what Kevin Colbert does, is what a lot of good general managers do. They reinforce their franchise year after year after year. I think now you are seeing Ryan Shazier being the guy they drafted him to be. You are seeing Bud Dupree  being the edge rusher he was drafted to be.

"I think one of the things that this revamped defense has done is it has changed things a little bit and made different bodies succeed. The more games they play, the more the young secondary gets to be good. This is going to be a real big test. I think (Stephon) Tuitt has to come up big. I think the edge guys have to come up big. This is going to be an interesting clash of styles in Kansas City on Sunday." 

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