Eddie Lacy not motivated by Tomlin

Updated: December 18, 2013, 4:25 PM ET
By Scott Brown | ESPN.com

PITTSBURGH -- Eddie Lacy hopes to play well against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, but not so he can prove Mike Tomlin made a mistake in April.

The Steelers picked running back Le'Veon Bell over Lacy in the second round of the 2013 draft, something Tomlin called an "easy decision" for him.

Lacy, who has already rushed for more than 1,000 yards this season, did not take umbrage to what Tomlin said earlier this week.

"Le'Veon's a great back. They picked who they wanted, and I landed in a great place, so I'm happy where I am," the Green Bay Packers rookie said Wednesday during a conference call with Pittsburgh media. "You can use it for motivation, but I just go out and play the way I'm capable of playing. I don't really use too many external factors to motivate me."

Bell and Lacy were two of five running backs taken in the second round, and each has established himself as an every-down back.

Lacy lasted until the 61st pick -- Bell was taken 13 slots ahead of him -- in large part because of concerns about his injury history.

Lacy said he underwent toe-fusion surgery after he decided to leave Alabama for the NFL. He also had surgery on his left hand and had to work his way back from a torn pectoral muscle as well as a hamstring injury he sustained while training for the scouting combine.

Three running backs were drafted ahead of Lacy, who appears to be well on his way to winning the league's offensive rookie of the year honors. He's rushed for 1,028 yards and eight touchdowns and is averaging 4.1 yards per carry.

"You have to love his running style," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "He breaks a ton of tackles, he's always leaning forward. He's one of those football players where the game comes very naturally to him."

Tomlin said one thing that drew Pittsburgh to the versatile Bell was his pass-catching ability. On Wednesday, McCarthy said Lacy's receiving skills are an underrated part of his game.

"He actually has better hands than I thought he did," McCarthy said. "We felt very fortunate that day when he was there to be able to pick him."

Scott Brown

ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter

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