Jeremy Fowler, ESPN Staff Writer 363d

Steelers' Le'Veon Bell: 'I haven't been that special player'

PITTSBURGH -- Le'Veon Bell knows he hasn’t been himself.

He aims to change that, starting Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.

“I haven’t been that special player yet,” said Bell, who has yet to produce a 100-yard game after averaging 157 total yards last season. “I’ve kind of been just playing football. I’ve got to go out there and be that special player I know I can be. I just haven’t made the plays yet necessary for my team to get the job done.”

Bell is averaging 3.5 yards per carry (180 yards on 52 rushes). From 2014-16, Bell averaged from 4.7 to 4.9 yards per carry.

The Steelers’ once-high-powered offense entered the season eyeing 30 points per game but has managed only 57 points through the first three games.

Bell said missing training camp and offseason due to groin surgery might have played a role in the slow start, but so did stout defenses such as the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears in Weeks 2 and 3. Bell missed all of August while waiting to sign his $12.1 million franchise tender.

Bell is most frustrated by the lack of explosive plays. His longest of the season is 15 yards, and watching the film of Sunday’s 23-17 loss to the Chicago Bears made him “sick” about missed opportunities, he said.

“I think I’m just as explosive as I’ve always been,” Bell said. “Just so far I’ve been close to breaking a couple of runs, close to breaking a couple of catches; it just hasn’t happened yet.”

Offensive coordinator Todd Haley said the Steelers understood that Bell and Martavis Bryant, who missed all of 2016, would need to knock off rust. But Haley believes Bell is moving around well, and that the offense is close to breaking out.

“We’re going to continue to push this thing,” Haley said. “We’ve got to be a team that’s growing week in and week out.”

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