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Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says choosing Le'Veon Bell over Eddie Lacy was an 'easy choice'

Supportive puffery or legitimate evaluation? Either way, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin fired a shot or two at the Green Bay Packers at his press conference Tuesday when he mentioned the ease of taking Le'Veon Bell over Eddie Lacy in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Gregory Shamus

The Packers selected Alabama running back Eddie Lacy in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft - after Cincinnati selected Giovani Bernard, Denver took Montee Ball and Pittsburgh took Le'Veon Bell.

Lacy beat all of them to the 1,000 yard mark, rushing for 141 yards in a huge comeback win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 15. Not that the quartet of second-round backs have performed poorly at all - all four have been at least solid, if not spectacular, this year.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin stands by his choice.

"It was an easy decision for me," Tomlin said. "Obviously, Lacy's a top-quality back, but probably it's a matter of preference, just like I'm sure Cincinnati went through the same discussions and thoughts when they took Giovani Bernard in front of both of them."

Lacy has been a big reason why the Packers have managed to stay in contention for both the NFC North title as well as the playoffs in the absence of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Packers' offense has struggled, but, like they showed in the second half against Dallas, Lacy is capable of exploding.

That doesn't change Tomlin's mind, but it better concern him as far as his defense is concerned. The Steelers held Cincinnati to 57 rushing yards - 60 yards below their season average. Lacy's power and vision are obvious in film, and he'll be a handful for the Steelers in Week 16.

Le'Veon Bell interview from 2013 NFLPA Rookie Premiere