Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell took notice of Cincinnati rookie Joe Mixon’s comments last week, and of his first-half performance Sunday in the Bengals’ 24-23 victoryagainst Indianapolis at Paul Brown Stadium.
Shortly after Mixon went into halftime with just six carries for 16 yards, Bell took to Twitter, writing “for someone who feels they can do ‘way more’ than I can, sure seems like u wanna be me! tryin to mimic my run style, my 1st down celebration”.
It was in response to Mixon’s comments following the loss to Steelers in which he said “I feel like I could do way more than (Bell) did. I only got seven carries. I can’t showcase nothing if I don’t get the ball. There ain’t nothing else I can say.”
Mixon said after Sunday’s win that he was unaware of Bell’s tweets, and unconcerned.
“I’m not worried about him,” Mixon said. “It’s unfortunate he felt that way, but I’m not worried about what he’s talking about. I’m going to keep my head down and keep grinding and it’s going to happen.”
Mixon finished with 18 yards on 11 carries and three receptions for 91 yards, including a career-long 67-yarder that set up the team’s first touchdown.
“The line did a great job executing the perimeter, and so did the wide receivers,” Mixon said. “It was just wide open, and I saw green grass and tried to run for it.”
Mixon took some good-natured ribbing from his teammates about getting caught and tackled at the 3-yard line.
“It’s unfortunate I got caught, but it happens to the best of us,” he said with a smile.
Mixon’s longest run of the day was just 7 yards, but the entire offense struggled in the ground game, as the Bengals finished with 58 yards on 21 carries. The three running backs – Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard and Mixon – combined for 34 yards on 17 carries.
“We’re still working on it,” Mixon said. “We’re going to continue to get better and keep pounding. That’s all we’re going to do.”
Mixon also fumbled on a reception for the second week in a row. Last week at Pittsburgh he got the ball back, but Sunday the Colts recovered late in the third quarter and turned the mistake into an Adam Vinatieri field goal that expanded their lead to 23-17 with 11:21 remaining.
“I caught the ball, got up field and I remember the corner cutting me off and I tried to shake and all of a sudden the ball just came out,” he said. “I don’t know how. I’m going to look on the film. I’ve got to have better ball security. There ain’t no excuse for it. I’m going to take that hard. But the great thing about that was my teammates picked me up and we pulled through.”