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Old 11-13-2017, 00:41   #1
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Steelers cant take next step until LeVeo

FOXBOROUGH, Ma s. At his best, we know what Le'Veon Bell is. It was obvious last week in Kansas City, wherehe sidestepped and prodded his way through the Chiefs' defense repeatedly, gaining 170 yards and breaking the Steelers team record for playoff yardage after having set that record with 167 yards the previous week. Hand the guy a football, as the Steelers did 59 times in their first two playoff games, and he can put forth something spectacular.Butthen, a night like Sunday at Gillette Stadium happens, and with it comes a sharp reminder that, at 24, Bell is still a mystery, a great player who somehow seems to find his way to frustration. That was the case against New England, where the Steelers suffered a 36-17 lo s to the Patriots in the AFC championship.MORE: Game Center stats | Title game blogWith a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, Bell had no impact. He hurt his groin on the second play of the game TreDavious White Jersey , he said, an injury that limited him to six carries and 20 yards. But then he also said he has been dealing with a minor groin injury for a while.I've been trying to micromanage it throughout the whole thing, Bell said. Just keeping it to myself, not trying to scare anybody and things like that. Today, it just kind of broke the camels back.But Bell would not quite say that this was an ongoing i sue for him. Asked when he first started dealing with the problem, Bell gave a sort of shrug. I mean, I am not sure, he said. I cant put a date on it. I just felt like I dont know. I cant really put a date on it.So, somewhere along the line heading into Sundays game, Bell dinged his groin but didnt tell anyone. He tried to play through it, and he deserves credit Kyle Williams Jersey for that. Bell left the game and was listed as questionableto return. That almost always means the player in question is not going to return. But Bell came back in the middle of the second quarter, had his number called for a draw play, gained a mere 2 yards, and then decided he could do no more.STEELE: Brady will not be Ryan's biggest problem in Super Bowl 51"I came back, I got a draw, the O-linemen made a nice seam for me,"Bell said. "On that play, I knew I could not really go, because I couldnt be myself. I seen the seam but I couldnt really hit it. I ran but I couldnt hit it. It was like I was really running, really, 50 percent out there. At that point, I knew I couldnt go.I was holding the team back just by trying to be in there. I felt I couldnt be myself."Without Bell, the Steelers offense was not itself. They ran only 20 rushing plays, for an average gain of just 2.7 yards. They averaged 5.1 yards per rush in their first two playoff games. They failed to control the pace of the game, giving the Patriots quick-strikeoffense entirely too much time on the field. Pittsburgh had two first-and-goal situations, one from the 1-yard line and one from the 6-yard line. Those opportunities yielded just three points.Not having a healthy Bell was an obvious obstacle for the Steelers. No question, coach Mike Tomlin said. But injuries are part of the game. We didnt do a good enough job, or quick enough job, adapting to the circumstances.That has been a big part of Bells four years with the Steelers theyve had to adapt to a lot of circumstances around him. He is certainly a personality and ego that requires some management, such as during this week when he compared his game-changing skills to the impact Stephen Curry has had on basketball. Or at the beginning of the year, when he released a song under his alter ego, Seantrel Henderson Jersey Juice, calledIm the Man.BIRDSONG: Bell, like Curry, more anomaly than trail blazerThats not inherently bad, but the Steelers eventually are going to need Bell to be the Man more consistently. He was suspended three games to start this season because of mi sed drug tests, while he was coming back from two torn ligaments in his knee, which caused him to mi s eight games last season. He was also suspended to start 2015, after he was tagged with DUI and marijuana po se sion charges the previous year.Its not a stellar track record, and the groin injury Sunday while not quite Bells fault adds to the litany of frustrations that tugs at Bells greatne s.STEELE: Goodell can't avoid Patriots, Brady any longer"Its frustrating, Bell said. This is different than the knee injury because on this one, I was in the game, I was playing. It was just, I couldnt overcome it, I couldnt be myself. Last year, I hurt my knee, I had to get surgery instantly, I couldnt play anymore. Year before that, I couldnt play. This one was just a little different because I got a taste of it, I was out there, I was playing, I just couldnt be myself.When Bell is himself, he is arguably the best in the league. The Steelers just Micah Hyde Jersey need him to be himself more often.
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