He shall be Le'Veon

Mike Prisuta watched every one of Le'Veon Bell's college games and offers up an inspirational analysis of what the Steelers now possess.

The Steelers' second-round pick carried the ball 382 times for 1,793 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012, but he could have done more.

The suspicion here is the Steelers' coaching staff can't wait to mold the 6-foot-1, 244-pound package it unwrapped on Friday night and see what will happen next.

Le'Veon Bell's most recent season included three 200-yard games and a 188-yard effort against Nebraska. But he also posted pedestrian numbers against some big-time competition: 19 carries for 77 yards against Notre Dame, 17 for 45 against Ohio State, and 26 for 68 against Michigan. He didn't score a touchdown in any of those games.

So what exactly did the Steelers draft at a spot that seemingly had a significant percentage of Steeler Nation screaming for either a different back (Eddie Lacy) or a different position (wide receiver, inside linebacker, anything else)?

Here's what I saw watching almost every game Bell played last season at Michigan State:

* An offensive line that degenerated from inconsistent to injured to just not good enough.

* A passing game that included a first-year quarterback and a bunch of first-year receivers and never clicked to the point that it could be depended upon to get anything positive accomplished on anything approaching a regular basis.

* A running back who decided if he didn't get it done it just wasn't going to happen, one that started trying to bounce too many plays outside and hit too many home runs and, in the process, ran away from himself.

NFL analyst Mike Mayock saw the same things and prior to the draft wrote of too much East-West and not enough North-South from Bell.

"That's easily correctable," Mayock added.

As for a potential NFL destination for Bell, Mayock had this to say: "He fits exactly what the Pittsburgh Steelers are. Once he gets his shoulders turned, he's a bear, and that's a great fit."

The Steelers' staff clearly agrees wholeheartedly, which explains why they jumped at Bell in the second round, a round faster than originally anticipated. A lack of safeties with a second-round grade available in the second round was a factor in their decision, as was a medical question on Lacy that dropped him all the way to 61st overall to Green Bay.

But the Steelers will get Bell turned North and South. They'll get him to hit it up in there consistently and take what he can blast his way to getting, which occasionally will be a lot more than the Steelers were originally envisioning. They'll throw him the ball out of the backfield in a manner they never quite got around to doing with Rashard Mendenhall.

And when they re-establish the big-back threat, the punishing staple component they so painfully lacked last season, they'll use that to their advantage in setting up the passing game, especially with play-action.

The days of Jonathan Dwyer tapping out are over.

The days of Le'Veon Bell catching a screen and turning up the field behind Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro and Mike Adams are at hand.


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