PITTSBURGH -- As a tailback aficionado, Le'Veon Bell appreciates a firsthand look at the game's best ball carriers.
Jaguars rookie Leonard Fournette will have Bell's attention when the Steelers running back isn't taking handoffs Sunday.
"He's impressive -- real impressive," Bell said. "I love watching him run. He's a guy who doesn't shy away from contact at all. He's a big guy, fast guy. It's going to be fun watching him run the ball. [Jags RB]Chris Ivory is the same way."
Bell is No. 5 in the league in total yards this season after gaining 144 yards on 35 carries Sunday in Baltimore. He has followed Fournette since the rookie was breaking big runs at LSU. Bell and Fournette, who was drafted No. 4 overall, rank first and third in carries with 87 and 81, respectively.
Bell said he takes time during games to watch the opposing back.
"Especially the guys that are respected around the league, I pay close attention to," Bell said. "Leonard Fournette is a young guy, so the fact I get to watch while he's young and still maturing into his own in the league, it's going to be fun."
At 228 pounds, Fournette will try to wear down a Pittsburgh front ranked an uncharacteristic 26th in rushing defense (4.6 yards allowed per carry).
Bell wants to see his defense get stops. But he also takes pride in the emergence of young backs such as Fournette, one of five first-rounders at the position since 2015. Bell, a second-round pick in 2013, would like to think he helped make drafting tailbacks cool again.
"The run game hasn't died off," Bell said.
Of course, the Jaguars (2-2) have their own problems facing Bell, whose combination of patience and burst is elite, Jags coach Doug Marrone said.
He knows that's not an ideal recipe for the Jaguars, who allow 5.7 yards per carry.
"It will be a challenge, obviously, after what we have been doing," Marrone said.
The Steelers (3-1) are in sole possession of first place in the AFC North.