- Light on his feet:* *Running back Le'Veon Bell is coming off another strong performance, rushing for 147 yards on 21 carries against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday night. Bell's explosiveness could be credited to him being lighter this year, as he has continued to work on his conditioning since being drafted by the Steelers in 2013.
"When I met Le'Veon Bell the night before his pro day when he was in college, we talked about his weight," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "We talked about what he played at his last year at Michigan State. I suggested that his pro playing weight will be lighter than his college playing weight because this is a highly conditioned man's business. He bought into that.
"When he showed up at minicamp after the draft he was lighter than he was at his pro day. He has been continually coming down since he has been a part of us. He ended last year in the mid-220s. He reported back this year in the mid-220s. He has shown he is committed to maintaining a level of conditioning over the course of a 12-month calendar and he has taken off from there. I think his play is reflecting that."* 2. *Looking for Moore: Wide receiver Lance Moore was in uniform for the first time this season when the Steelers played the Panthers after missing the previous two weeks with a groin injury. Moore finished the game without a pass coming his way, while Justin Brown had two receptions for 10 yards. Tomlin said it's just a matter of Moore working his way back for him to see passes coming his way.
"It's the reality of this business, when you get hurt as a football team you adjust and move forward," said Tomlin. "As a guy regains his health it's his responsibility to make himself useful and to get on a moving train. I like the approach he is taking. We'll continue to work to get him back into the fold. It's just that. He has to work his way back into the rotation. I like his attitude, I like his work habits. We'll see where it takes us this week."
Check out the highlight photos from the Panthers vs Steelers game.
On guard:* *Cody Wallace stepped in against the Panthers last week at left guard for Ramon Foster (ankle) and Tomlin said he wasn't surprised by Wallace's performance. Last season Wallace stepped in at center after the team lost Fernando Velasco to injury, and he knows Wallace is capable of doing the same whenever called upon.
"I thought he did an admirable job but I am not surprised by it in any way," said Tomlin. "We have come to expect that from him. That's why we were excited about re-signing him. He is a guy that is always ready to step up and provide winning football for us, whether he is at guard or center. He did a nice job."
Right in line: The offensive line continues to gel for the Steelers, providing exceptional blocking against the Panthers that resulted in 264 yards rushing. Tomlin said he has seen the growth throughout, even through the good and bad.
"I had positive feelings about the growth and development of that group even after the Baltimore game," said Tomlin. "It's a tougher sell after that type of performance, but it goes beyond what happens in stadiums. It's about how they work here on a day-to-day basis, how they come together, how they grow intellectually and physically. I like the upward trajectory of the group."