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Has Le'Veon Bell created a new rushing style?

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As Le'Veon Bell was slicing and dicing Miami's defense last week, CBS analyst Phil Simms christened the sinewy Steelers running back "The Great Hesitator."

Bell's trademark patience has captured the football world's imagination, standing as the symbol of Pittsburgh's eight-game winning streak.

"The most patient that I've ever seen," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said this week, via the team's official website. "That's a unique style -- one that he's kind of created ... that delay to get to the line of scrimmage. It's been effective for him. He's really the only one that does it, so it's unique."

There's a fine line between patience and pussyfooting.

Football coaches have long decried hesitant backs, beseeching runners to "put your foot in the ground" and "hit the hole with authority" rather than dancing at the line of scrimmage.

Bell succeeds with a sixth sense, bypassing vanishing holes in favor of ones that have yet to open. He harbors implicit trust in his offensive line, believing that a potential crease will materialize even as unexpected flashes of color threaten to shut it down.

Former Chiefs All Pro Priest Holmes once described that lockstep intuition between a runner and his blockers as a "flawless synchronicity," the holy grail of juggernaut ground attacks.

Bell's technique is so convincing that DeAngelo Williams -- the oldest back in the league -- adopted his younger teammate's more patient running method en route to surprising success during an Indian summer 2015 season.

NFL Network analyst LaDainian Tomlinson examined Bell's unique style on Monday's edition of NFL Total Access, acknowledging that the "uncanny ability" to stop at the line of scrimmage is "not ideal for running backs when you think about trying to get tempo and trying to get rhythm as you run through the hole."

"But what this allows him to do is see what's going on in front of him," Tomlinson continued. "The best thing about him is that burst through the hole. ... He finds the hole, bursts through it and now you have a 12-, 15-yard run from a play that seemed like it wasn't going to amount to anything."

Tomlinson went on to relay a recent conversation he had with Panthers Pro Bowl linebacker Thomas Davis.

"The man's burst from stop to start is phenomenal," Davis raved. "I've never seen anyone like him."

Amplifying that unparalleled suddenness, Bell offers the ability to cut laterally at the last split-second as if he's bending the laws of physics. His penchant for taking advantage of overcommitting tacklers -- setting up one defender with the idea of making the next one miss -- is the gridiron equivalent of Magic Johnson's legendary court vision (if not Steph Curry's game-changing deep range).

Throw in tackle-breaking power plus the route running and sure hands of a wide receiver, and Bell's bag of tricks puts him on par with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers as football's improvisational wizard, envisioning possibilities and interrogating limits that other players don't explore.

"I love watching Le'Veon Bell," Stanford star Christian McCaffrey told The MMQB's Peter King last month. "I think he has a great mix of doing everything as a running back ... his patience, setting up his blocks so well, hitting the hole fast, breaking tackles, making people miss.

"That's the kind of stuff, when I look at his game and look at my game, what I really try to emulate is the aspect of patience, and not just running full-speed downhill. Let your blocks develop before you hit that hole, try to get in the best position of getting one on one with the safety in the open field, make him miss, and then turn on the jets from there."

It's not just Bell's unconventional style that is unprecedented. His production during Pittsburgh's two-month surge is matched by only a handful of players in history.

Bell has averaged a staggering 180.7 yards from scrimmage since Week 11, the fifth-best figure over a seven-game span since the 1970 merger, per NFL Research. As King pointed out, Bell's 1,002 rushing yards during that stretch are 142 more than all-time rushing king Emmitt Smith ever gained in a seven-game window.

Viewed through that lens, Reid's 26th-ranked run defense will have to exercise extreme gap discipline to hold Bell under the 178 yards he amassed in their lopsided Week 4 mathcup.

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