Steelers’ Bell takes pride in avoiding unnecessary hits

Pittsburgh Steelers running back LeVeon Bell (26) tackled by Baltimore Ravens linebacker ZaDarius Smith (90) on Oct. 1.Photo Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports (file photo)

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Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is a big proponent of taking care of his body.

Bell noted that NBA superstar LeBron James isn’t slowing down despite being in his 30s and said that “your body won’t fail you” as long as you take the proper steps.

One of those steps is to avoid taking unnecessary hits, Bell said.

“I don’t really compare myself to a lot of other running backs — that’s no offense to any other running back, but just the fact that I can see and avoid hits,” Bell said, via “It’s not like when I get the ball 30 times or 35 times and I’m really taking 30 car crashes. Either I’m delivering the blow or I’m getting to the ground. I’m sore after games, but it’s not like I’m aching. I don’t have to miss practices. I can go full speed and be good.”

Bell has taken up boxing to reduce stress on his legs from a more traditional offseason football workout.

The 26-year-old Bell has been absent from the offseason workouts while bracing for a second straight summer of franchise-tag negotiations. He earned $12.12 million on last year’s tag and would take home $14.5 million this season unless a long-term deal is reached by July 16.

Bell ran for 1,291 yards and a career-high nine touchdowns last season while catching a personal-best 85 passes for 655 yards and two scores. He was third in the NFL in rushing yards and 10th in receptions.