Running back Le'Veon Bell slowed down long enough to answer these five questions.
How are you able to be such a patient running back?**"I think just over the course of my career I am getting more comfortable with the plays that are being called. The offensive line being healthy gives me more confidence with controlling the tempo. I know I have more time. Me trusting those guys to stay on their blocks I can be more patient. A lot of times with the linebackers I watch to see how they are playing. I try to get them out of the hole. A lot of times I know where I am going to go, it's just trying to get them out of the hole and set up a block. When they see me being patient and shuffling I am trying to analyze a way to get guys out of a hole so I can get into the hole."
Is it something you work on or something that comes naturally?
"I think it just came natural, a God-given ability. Another part of that is just the more reps I got, the more comfortable I got with the offensive line, fullbacks, and things like that. The more comfortable I got, the more I knew I could take my time. Last year I felt like I was being patient, but I was still kind of rushing a little bit. I didn't take my time like I did this year. I feel like next year I will be even better at it."
The top photos of RB Le'Veon Bell who was voted as the Steelers'2014 MVP by his teammates.
What's that feeling like when a defense knows you are going to run the ball and they can't stop you?
"That is something you live for in football. The defense knows you are about to run the ball. They know the exact play. They know where it's going and can't stop it. That is the best part of football because you are beating a man's will. As a defensive player there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to stop the run, especially if you know the run is coming, if you know where the ball is going. You can't stop it and it's frustrating. You take pride in it as an offense and look forward to it."
You carried the load for the offense last year. Were you ever tired or fatigued from it, and if not, how did you stay fresh?
"I felt fresh the whole year. After each and every game I would come in, get in hot tub, cold tub, stretch, and take care of my body. I learned from my rookie year to take care of my body. In the games I never felt fatigued, I never felt exhausted. I get tired, I am human. The next day I might be sore but never to the point where I couldn't perform in practice or do anything. I always felt great and want to continue to work on that.
"That was something I learned quick. My rookie year Jerricho Cotchery kind of took me under his wing and showed me the ropes. He played in the league a long time. He got me into a routine to make sure my body was prepared, fresh and ready to go. Last year it was James Harrison. I watched what he did and took little bits of his recovery and put it into mine to make my body work. Whatever I can take from the veteran guys who have played a lot in this league, I have to pick their brains. That is what I am trying to do, play for a long time and be successful like those guys."
What can be expected of you heading forward, is there more to see?
"I definitely don't think I am anywhere near the player I can be. There are times in the games I feel like I left something out there. The stats will show I had so many yards or touchdowns, there were times I feel like I could have done more. That is me trying to be the best possible player I can be. I don't think I am near my potential. I feel like I can do more and I am going to next year."