Pittsburgh Steelers rookie running back Le’Veon Bell only rushed for 57 yards Sunday in the loss to the Minnesota Vikings, but several of runs really showed what kind of skills and abilities he has. Below are a few that really stuck out to me when going back through the all-22 tape from the from.
I have already recapped Bells touchdown run earlier in the week, but if you missed it, here it is again. Bell does three great things on this run and it starts with him putting his left foot into the ground in order to sidestep the attempted tackle by Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway on his way down from being blocked by fullback Will Johnson. Next, Bell presses the block of tight end David Johnson which in turn forces safety Andrew Sendejo to commit to the gap. At that point, Bell again sticks his left foot into the ground and cuts to the outside and around the block of tight end Heath Miller for the easy angle to the end zone.
The next run we will look at is perhaps the best two-yard run us Steelers fans have seen in some time. The Steelers use 13 personnel and the three tight ends are strong to the right. At the snap, Greenway shoots the “C” gap untouched and has Bell square in his sights. Bell spins out of the tackle and then cuts back inside for positive yardage. This play could have very easily killed the drive had Bell been tackled for a two or three yard loss. Instead, the positive yardage kept the offense only slightly behind the chains and the drive ended in a field goal.
On this play, the Steelers have 11 personnel and it is designed to go backside as tight end David Johnson is supposed to misdirection from left to right in order to take care of defensive end Brian Robison. At the snap, defensive tackle Fred Evans gets good enough penetration on center Fernando Velasco and it impedes the path of David Johnson. Johnson recovers in time, however, but Bell still has defensive tackle Kevin Williams to shake after he sheds the block of guard David DeCastro. After accomplishing that, Bell makes a quick decision to shoot back inside after reading the block of wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery and he then squares up to get two yards on the play.
This last play is the Bell one-yard touchdown. The Steelers go large with their personnel as they have all three tight ends and a fullback on the field. While the blocking on the play by Miller and David Johnson is nothing short of great, Bell still has safety Mistral Raymond to contend with at the goal-line. For such a tall running back, the rookie gets his pad level very low and gets underneath for the easy score.
Bell is very instinctive and his height allows him to use his great vision. You can really tell that he understands the concept of pressing the line and thus far shows that he knows how to read his blocks. He’s not a greedy running back, either, and what I mean by that is he knows when to take what is given him. Of his 16 carries, none of them went for negative yardage and 27 of his 57 yards rushing came after contact. As long as he can remain healthy, he should have a few big games this season.