Steelers GM Kevin Colbert Says They Drafted Le\’Veon Bell Because He\’s An \”NFL Back\”
Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert continued his media rounds on Thursday and that included being a morning guest on Trib Live Radio to talk about the 2013 NFL draft that took place this past weekend.
During the interview, Colbert was asked about Michigan State running back Le\’Veon Bell, who the Steelers selected in the second-round, and more specifically, he was asked if he was looking for a specific style of running back in the draft and why Bell was the pick.
“Well, Le\’Veon was really interesting to us because we looked at him as an NFL back,” said Colbert. “He had 1,700 yards last year, and close to 900 of those yards were yards after contact; which indicates an ability to make NFL type runs, because holes in the NFL aren\’t going to be the same as they are in college. You saw him make a lot of, what we thought were, NFL type runs. And even if he only had a one yard hole that was blocked, once he made contact, he always seemed to fall forward for four more and that was intriguing.
“His ability to catch and his ability to block were also intriguing. So, in Le\’Veon we thought that we had a complete package. There were several other backs that we liked as well, but not as well as Le\’Veon.”
The Steelers running game was miserable last season and Colbert blasted the group several times during the offseason leading up to the draft. The fact that Bell was one of the few three down backs that best resembled, as Colbert put it, “an NFL back”, and one that they liked the best, apparently made the selection an easy one.
Bell will get every opportunity to be the opening day back to start the 2013 season, but he must first show that he can quickly adapt his style of running to the speed and level of play of the NFL. That process will begin on Friday when the Steelers hold their rookie camp in Pittsburgh.
You can hear the full interview with Colbert in the audio below.