No One Happier About Bell’s Performance Than Steelers’ Offensive Line

Le’Veon Bell had a record setting day. But it was far from a one-man band. It’s a total team effort, starting up front with the offensive line. The only people happier than Bell has to be that starting five. At least, that’s how they came off talking to reporters following the win.

“Just keep running your feet and L-Bell will make it happen,” Maurkice Pouncey said after the game, via Steelers.com. “You guys see how good he is.”

How good it was. 167 yards, a franchise record, and two scores, the first Steelers’ playoff back to do since Rashard Mendenhall in 2011. It was, statistically at least, the greatest rushing performance in the franchise’s playoff history.

It’s in part due to the uncanny vision Bell has, able to wait and wait…and wait, before exploding upfield and making a big play. Pouncey said he often doesn’t even know where Bell is at on the field. Could be behind him. Could be in the end zone.

“We honestly don’t know. We’re watching film and are like, oh man, that was crazy, he was right behind us. But it’s a blessing when you have that type of vision and that type of runner. And we’re going to use him.”

Bell said he knew he broke Harris’ record after the stadium announced it following the third quarter. But the line, according to Alejandro Villanueva had no idea, though it didn’t make them any less happy to hear it.

“I’m really happy for Le’Veon,” Villanueva said. “He’s a great worker. He works extremely hard. He’s an exceptional football player and he deserves all the accolades on the field.”

And the leader of the group, Ramon Foster, said in January football, running the ball is a must.

“And the way he’s been playing as of late, you gotta keep giving it to him,” Foster said. “Coach Haley set the mindset, our mindset to it, Coach Munch got us right. It’s postseason ball. You gotta be able to run the ball like that.”

For all the praise his line gave Bell, Bell dished it back speaking to reporters in his press conference.

“The o-line did an incredible job of controlling the line of scrimmage for the most part today,” Bell said. “Made my job real easy. The receivers on the edge getting on their DBs and the safeties and obviously Ben putting us in the right situation, making all the right calls at the line of scrimmage.”

Pittsburgh will travel to Kansas City to take on a better run defense but not a great one. For the season, the Chiefs have allowed 4.4 yards per carry, tied for 20th in the NFL. That’s included yielding five yards per carry in two of their last three games.

Bell rushed for 144 yards on a whopping eight yards per carry in the first matchup of the season, his first game back in 2016.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    What a great job by Bell and the O line. I’m beginning to think that we are capable of running like this on ANYBODY.
    Very happy for Al V also -seems like a great young man and he has obviously learned his craft!!

  • Sam Scalleat

    So i have to ask.. is Villanueva growing that beard as a bet? It’s quite the throwback look

  • alevin16

    Every O lineman needs to have that same look, how intimidating would that be 🙂

  • I don’t know had old that picture is, but if it isn’t already, that mustache HAS TO GO!!! Sorry AV.

    Kudos on yesterday though.

  • colingrant

    AV sporting a 70’s Fu Manchu…….cool

  • dany

    Disagree, it looks amazing

  • dany

    I just dont see anyone stopping Bell. Even if he plays like in the bengals game, successful but having to fight for every yard, the steelers win win. Against the pats he a had a good game but being with Landry likely hindered him some. Dallas might be the biggest challenge

  • Joel Miller

    No, he shaved his beard and came up with that. I dub it the Powerstache.

  • Now a days, only poeple that have mustaches like that are polices officers and pornstars, he is neither. lol

  • Bryan Ischo

    You forgot the third category, awesome NFL linemen.

  • dany

    no one does? so, even more reason to do it

  • pittfan

    Que the 70’s music…

  • 6 ring circus

    That’s either the look of a p orn star or an assassin. Oh, wait, wasn’t he a ranger? Yea, they kill people.

  • LucasY59

    I liked the big beard he had going last week, thought he would keep it going through the playoffs, now it just looks like he lost a bet

  • LucasY59

    IF they play Dallas he might have the biggest impact towards a win, IF they can run the ball and control the clock it will keep the Dallas from being able to do the same, get a big lead early like they did yesterday and then pound it with Bell (and maybe some D-Lo) and they have the recipe for success against Dallas’ O-line and Elliott, force Dak to make the plays and have the pressure of playing from behind

  • Brendon Glad

    Those guys and L.B. have a beautiful chemistry together right now. They trust him, and he trusts them. I cannot begin to describe how much happier I am with the offensive line play than I was for so many years. I used to send about 5 texts per game to friends complaining about them. Ever since Munchak got there, it almost never happens anymore.
    But the players deserve a lot of credit too. They have just gotten better, individually, and as a cohesive unit. I complained about most of those guys at some point too. Keep it going, guys! You really have been impressive!

  • Tracy L Trent

    I almost didnt finish the the comments because people are talking about playing and beating the Cowboys and we dont play the cowboys next…we play K.C….just sayin…the cowboys have to win a couple more also for it to happen….i know i know…..lets all fantasize awhile…lol….i actually would like either the cowboys or the packers because we owe the packers from our last painful superbowl and we owe Dallas for beating us with 42 seconds onn the clock with us in the lead….to great revenge scenarios