The players have spoken and Le’Veon Bell was the winner. Bell has been voted, for the second time in his career, the MVP of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
This is the second time Bell has been honored with the MVP title, with his first coming in 2014. In addition, Bell has been in talks to receive the NFL’s MVP honor, as his name was mixed in with players like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Dak Prescott and others.
This season Bell missed the first three games due to suspension, but came back in Week 4 with vengeance. Bell has rushed the ball 261 times and leads the AFC with 1,268 yards on the ground. He is second in the NFL, behind Ezekiel Elliott. On the ground, Bell has scored seven touchdowns and has averaged 108.7 yards per game, which is also second in the NFL.
“The numbers don’t lie,” said fullback Roosevelt Nix. “And you are talking about somebody who missed three games. Who knows what would have happened if he played in those games.”
In the air, Bell has proven to be a key target for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger has found Bell 75 times for 616 yards and two touchdowns in his 12 games.
“We always knew he had an awesome talent for running the ball, but I think what is most impressive is his blocking and catching the ball out of the backfield,” said Ben Roethlisberger. “He is an every down back and we can use him for every situation. I think that is what is most impressive.”
Against the Buffalo Bills this season, Bell was the man who broke the Steelers franchise record for the most yards, on the ground, in a regular season game with 236 yards. In the game against the Bills, Bell rushed for three crucial touchdowns.
“[He has grown] in all areas,” said Tomlin. “Intellectually, understanding of the game, not necessarily what it is he does, but how it fits into the bigger picture. The intellectual conversations with him are much different today than they were then. Just understanding how to play the position, the nuances of the position, the protection of the ball and the protection of himself.”
“He’s a guy who’s got some talent,” Tomlin continued. “But equally or more importantly than that talent, he’s got a desire to be great and some work ethic to boot. He’s a much better conditioned athlete today. So I mean it when I say, all areas.”
Bell will look to continue his dominance in the post-season. However, the Steelers have one more regular season game, against the Cleveland Browns, on Sunday, January 1 before the playoffs. The game against the Browns will be held at Heinz Field and begins at 1 p.m.
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