Le'Veon Bell calls out 'mimic' Mixon: You wanna be me

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A war of words is brewing in the AFC North.

One week after Bengals rookie ball-carrier Joe Mixon complained to reporters that he wanted to carry a more Le'Veon Bell-like role in Cincinnati, racking up 30-plus touches a game as Bell did last Sunday, the Steelers running back responded on Twitter.

Bell sent those barbs over the internet super-highway during the Bengals' 24-23 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Ahead of his Sunday night matchup with the Lions, the Steelers back must have been watching his division rivals.

Bell had plenty of material to work with, as Mixon ran for just 18 yards on 11 carries and lost a fumble. The Bengals back's best play of the day came on a 67-yard catch-and-run that set up Cincy's first touchdown of the game. After the play, on cue, Mixon imitated Bell's first-down celebration.

The Bengals runner had little response to Bell's Twitter taunt, telling reporters after the victory, "I mean, it's unfortunate [Bell feels] that way, but like I said, I'm not worried about what he's talking about. I just gotta keep my head down, keep grinding and, you know, it's gonna happen."

While Mixon chose not to mix it up with Bell, his teammate, Vontaze Burfict, was not so careful.

"Le'Veon is not as good as Le'Veon thinks he is," Burfict retorted, per The Enquirer. "So for him to go rattin' on Twitter to talk about my teammate, it's a little bit beyond me. Joe is way better than him. I mean, I play Joe every day in practice and he just has better qualities.

"Joe is better than him. Put it like that."

Looking at the box score, Mixon got what he wanted: More snaps than his fellow Bengals running backs and a big Bell-ish play through the air. But he didn't eclipse the 30-touch mark, instead finishing with less than half of that.

Mixon has a long way to go to even touch Bell's level of play and consistency in this league. So if he really wants to perform like or better than his AFC North foe over a season's worth of games, we suggest he emulate Bell's best quality: Patience.

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