Falcons RB Steven Jackson Says Steelers RB Le\’Veon Bell Reminds Him Of Himself

A week prior to the 2013 NFL draft taking place, new Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson held a conference call with the media and he answered a wide variety of questions.

At one point during the interview, Jackson was asked which running back in this year\’s draft class reminded him most of himself.

His answer: Michigan State running back Le\’Veon Bell, who wound up being drafted in the second round by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Jackson\’s answer was not too surprising, however, as Bell somewhat compared himself to the former St. Louis Rams running back at his pro day back in March.

“I\’ve learned how to use my blockers to my advantage, I try to get consistent yardage and not lose yards,\’\’ Bell said at his pro day. “I take Arian Foster, I run like him a little bit, Steven Jackson, I\’m more of his frame, Adrian Peterson of course, Chris Beanie Wells, they are all good backs of my size.\’\’

Even NFL.com draft analyst Bucky Brooks has made the comparison of the two.

“When I broke down the game tape, I came away viewing Bell as a Steven Jackson clone,” wrote Brooks back in early March. “Bell not only runs with a similar gait, but he displays the patience and vision to excel in a zone-based scheme. Bell\’s ability to read and set up his blocks at the line of scrimmage routinely leads to big gains when plays are executed properly.”

Below are the pre draft measurables of both Jackson and Bell and unless you have them memorized, it is hard to tell whose are whose.

While comparing Bell to Jackson is all fine and good, the Michigan State product is currently 10,135 yards behind the former Oregon State running back and has yet to even take a rep in an NFL practice.

During his rookie season with the Rams, Jackson carried the football 134 times for 673 yards and four touchdowns. He also chipped in another 189 yards on 19 catches in addition. I think that the Steelers would be thrilled to get over 850 total yards out of their second-round draft pick in his rookie year. They would also be thrilled if Bell has 10,000 rushing yards in Pittsburgh after nine seasons.

Player One

Height: 6014

Weight: 231

40 Yrd Dash: 4.55

Bench Reps: 16

Vertical Jump: 37 1/2

Broad Jump: 9\’10”

20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.09

3-Cone Drill: 7.03

Player Two

Height: 6013

Weight: 230

40 Yrd Dash: 4.56

225 Lb. Bench Reps: 24

Vertical Jump: 31 1/2

Broad Jump: 09\’10”

20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.24

3-Cone Drill: 6.75

  • steeltown

    If the OL can successfully install the zone scheme… Le’veon should thrive

  • Jon Crissinger

    Player 2 is Le’Veon Bell. He had more bench reps.

  • Mike.H

    On a related note: LB Vince Williams has some THICK LEGS; with proper coaching he could be another baby Kirkland or that Jets LB, David Harris who’s 6′ 1″ 250 who got a huge 2nd contract recently (100+ yearly tackles). We’ll see if Vince Williams pans out as 6th round pick.

  • TJimmy

    Looking at the significant difference in the bench press reps…perhaps Bell has a stronger stiff arm? From the tape I saw, he had a pretty good stiff arm.

  • Stephen Dale

    I agree with Steeltown. Everything starts with the O-Line……………………..

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    Just hang on to the ball, rookie, and you’ll be very good.

  • Intropy

    6’1″, 230 lbs. Sounds like Jackson, Bo. Well, until you watch them play or see their track times.

  • Intropy

    When asked why Bell reminds Jackson of himself, Jackson responded, “Well, you know, I think about myself all the time. Pretty much everything reminds me of myself.”

  • mokhkw

    The Beanie Wells comparison is why I had Bell going a lot later than he was drafted.

    Like Wells & Mendenhall when he came out of Illinois, Bell runs upright and doesn’t secure the football to my liking, despite having zero fumbles in College. At 6’3″ and with his upright running style the ball will be an open target for tacklers. He also runs out of bounds way too much for a player his size.

    Hopefully both concerns are addressed by the Steelers Coaches. If not, I fear he may be no better than the guy he replaced.

    If he makes the adjustments needed for the NFL then it’s possible for him to draw the comparisons the SJax. Here’s hoping it turns out that way but I have my doubts tbh.

  • hergieburbur

    I don’t know why he would mention Wells at all when asked. Wells is barely above a scrub.

  • mokhkw

    lol yea he really should have not mentioned that name but I do see the comparison. Let’s hope he learns from Beanie’s mistakes & doesn’t repeat them.

  • $19122620

    I can see the S-Jax, comparisions to a degree, and also A. Foster and even DMC some to be honest. Even if Bell would turn out to be a poor man’s version of S-Jax during his career, I would take it.

    Also glad he will be playing the season at the age of 21. LeSean McCoy entered the league at the age of 21, and has now played four seasons and is only entering his age 25 season. The youth factor is a good thing.

    With that said, I have warmed up to the pick a good bit after first being pretty negative. I am optimistic about Bell and having an above average running game finally. The Texans and Redskins have shown how awesome a zone blocking scheme, coupled with an ideal one cut runner can be when it is exacuted effectivelly. If our line can effectively make the transition, we could finally have an good running game. I am hopeful and looking forward to the running game for 2013.

  • Intropy

    Maybe he was just being honest. I mean there really is some similarity there. I like that. It shows some introspection and self-awareness that can help him grow. It would be boring if every RB of every style said he thinks he runs like a cross of Jim Brown and Jim Thorpe with the gait of Elroy Hirsch… okay, it would pretty impressive to have an RB compare himself to Crazylegs.

  • Dan

    But Jackson seems to have a significantly better verticle. That being Bell certainly looks to be a good leaper on tape.
    Earlier I posted a concern that the Steelers would be trying to hard to find a Bettis clone….perhaps we have a Franco clone. That would be just fine.

  • hergieburbur

    I do see the comparisons, although Bell is already one up on him by being healthy.

  • I woulda gone 3rd round with a running back before the draft started, but there were no good receivers in the 2nd round(since we didn’t take one in the 1st!!!), so I felt RB in the 2nd was appropriate. Anyone that says it was too early to draft him needs to look at the way the draft unfolded. We got the guy we wanted and there was a run on RBs at the end of Rd. 2, so there was no one left in 3rd rd. Knile Davis in the 3rd? Jonathan Franklin in the 4th? The one-legged Lattimore? Perrrlease! I like the guy we got. The running game was atrocious last year. We needed to upgrade, and because we went OLB in the 1st, this was our best option.

  • hergieburbur

    What would be the problem with Franklin in the 4th? He was about as productive as Bell and is more of a complement to Dwyer/Redman rather than the same type of back. I am not saying I like him better than Bell, but a draft of Jones/Arthur Brown/Wheaton/Thomas/Franklin with a QB like Bray in the 6th even if we couldn’t get Bell later wouldn’t exactly be a disaster. My point is, people are acting like we had no choice but to take Bell at 2, and that is not true.

  • I suppose Franklin in the 4th would be fine, but personally I didn’t like him, and I’m glad the Steelers didn’t like him either, or as much as Bell at least. After the 2nd round there was a real thin group of RBs to chose from.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Doesn’t secure the football to your liking? Zero fumbles in college?

    Damn, dude, I’d hate to be your kid bringing home a report card.

    “Hey, dad. I got 100% on my spelling test.”

    “Yeah, but I don’t like how you spell your words.”

    “But I spelled them all right?”

    “Yeah, but for some reason I just don’t like the WAY you spelled them.”

  • $19122620

    Yeah, the above Brown/Franklin scenario you mentioned would haven been sweet. It would have been nice to know in advance we could have gotten those guys during those rounds. There’s just know way of being able to tell.

    Entering the draft I was really high on Brown and Franklin. Green Bay was wise in draftnig Franklin when they did (still can’t beleive he was available then), he is going to reward them greatly for drafting him, IMO. When he kept falling I was hpoing we would draft him. Seemed like too much value to pass up. We could have drafted him over L. Jones.

    I do wish we could have gotten Brown too though. Stinks the Ravnes had to be the stinking team to draft him.

  • Intropy

    Is that zero fumbles or zero fumbles lost?

  • Steelers32

    I think from what has been being put out there that Bell was going to be their pick and rumor had it that Denver was looking to take him later in round 2. So it was a now or never situation as they saw it and they made the pick.
    As to why Bell over the other backs I get the impression that it has a great deal to do with the production he had with a defense stacked against him. Weak “O” line weak passing game, and tons of yards AFTER he was hit. I think the last part of creating yards after contact was what the difference between him and the other backs available, and why they spent the high pick.

  • Kevin Gobleck


  • Kevin Gobleck

    i pray to god he will be like Bo, but there’s a way better chance for Steven

  • Kevin Gobleck

    yeah, especially against Cleveland.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Couldn’t agree more!

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Man i really think Le’veon is gunna be a great player in the NFL.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Love this Bell guy! Saw his tape and figured he would be absolutely the best of this class, as he runs like a bull but with surprisingly light feet. I told my buddy about him before the draft. I also said that there is no way in hell Pittsburgh would take him because of the other needs and the fact they probably wanted someone a little lighter and faster as a change of pace from their current crop of RB’s. Then I’m watching with my buddy and they call his name. I was shocked but pleased. Hi could end up being a great Steeler. Mind you, if they get good line play in the future, without the rash of injuries, I also believe Dwyer could be very good, especially if he learns to catch a little.

  • Don

    I agree 100% with this. That’s why I’m strongly against paying a lot of money to RBs in general. I do like what I’ve seen of Bell, but if the OL becomes a hospital ward AGAIN it won’t matter much who’s running the ball.

  • Michael Mazanowski

    Bucky Brooks on NFL . com wrote a story back in March about Bell. It was titled, “Le’Veon Bell emerging as best running back in 2013 NFL Draft.” Now I don’t always agree with Brooks but I think the Steelers got tremendous value in Bell! My only concern about Bell (same concern I had about Mendenfumble) is that it seems to me that he is too hesitant when he hits the hole (that’s what she said)! With that being said I think his hesitation could cause him to lose yardage–certainly, I’m no expert! Other than that, I’m impressed that he did as well as he did at MSU with the line he had in front of him. Maybe that is why he showed some hesitation!

  • Danny

    Hence that nasty stiff arm he executes flawlessly. Bell is strong like bull!!!

  • Danny


  • Danny

    zero fumbles. the kid secures the.rock.unlike mendy.

  • mokhkw

    lolz. 🙂

  • mokhkw

    Mendenhall also had zero fumbles in College. It’s not a good indicator for a player entering the NFL if they will be fumble-prone.

    For RM, his issue coming out was holding the ball too far away from the body and not covering it up in traffic.

    For LB, the issues I see are an upright running style and being 6’1″ leaving him exposed to a lot of hits. His technique is better than RM’s coming out of college but he will have to make some adjustments or injuries & fumbles could become a concern.

    This is the reason I like to watch the Pre Season games & see how well the rookies adjust their game to the NFL.