Post Gazette reporter Ed Bouchette went fishing for names for the Steelers' budding tri-posse of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le'Veon Bell.
Brown appeared to blow the question off. Bell was a bit more reluctant to put himself in the same group as Brown and Roethlisberger:
"Obviously, Ben is a superstar in this league, Antonio is a superstar in this league. I’m just getting started. I’m not anything yet."
The young grasshopper is sorely mistaken, partially at least. He's right that he's just getting started, but his 461 yards from scrimmage through three games shows he is absolutely something. The Steelers haven't had this dynamic of a rushing/receiving presence since Willie Parker in 2007 - the infamous "run him until his wheels fall off" year. At the pace Bell's on, he'd finish the season with 2,458 yards from scrimmage, or, 51 yards shy of ex-Titans running back Chris Johnson's NFL record of 2,509. Barry Foster was the last Steelers player to top 2,000 yards from scrimmage, having reached 2,034 in 1992.
Yes, it's too early to put Bell on that track right now, but even with only three games under his belt this season, his statistics aren't mirages. He's earning what he's getting, both in the rushing game and through the air. His fast start is helping pace a Steelers' offense that has twice topped 30 points - both in wins - and as of the start of Week 4, was leading the NFL in rushing yards per game.
Tampa Bay, on paper, appears to pose little threat to slow down the Steelers' offense. But with a few extra days to prepare, even given the whipping they took at the hands of the Falcons, expect a different Buccaneers team than the one that lost 56-14 to Atlanta. Also expect, though, the nicknameless trio of Ben, Brown and Bell (Killer Bs is as taken as "Triplets" is) to make an impact.
The fact that Bell feels he hasn't done anything yet can be seen as refreshing modesty, even if false. In reality, his team has seen some great things, and expects to see a lot more from the second-year running back.