The Bell Tolled Well Against The Vikings

Steelers Le'Veon Bell Animated GIF Vikings

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.

Steelers Le'Veon Bell Animated GIF Vikings

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.

Steelers Le'Veon Bell Animated GIF Vikings

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.

Steelers Le'Veon Bell Animated GIF Vikings

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.

Steelers Le'Veon Bell Animated GIF Vikings

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.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Xclewsive

    I really like what Le’Veon brings to the table. When the Steelers are able to get a lead in the 4th quarter it’ll be nice watching him work.

  • Dan

    I actually saw LeVeon Bell run a defender over in that game. I haven’t seen a Steelers RB do that since Jerome Bettis.

  • Virdin Barzey

    I’ve said it since he was in college, this kid is a baller. He just needs to stay healthy and get a half-decent o-line. On everyone of those plays the o-line either let someone free or poorly blocked. Just imagine if we had some real linemen. Hope he stays healthy.

  • Shawn S.

    Bell’s decisiveness, reflexes, and speed are a welcome sight after seeing Redman and Dwyer hesitate at the LOS and get put on their butts, or just sit down and get swallowed. Looking forward to a nice season and career from him. Go, Steelers.

  • cencalsteeler

    Gif #1- I know this article is about Bell. But, watching Will Johnsons block just shows how talented this guy is. Why he isn’t utilized more in the offense is just mind blowing.
    Gif #2-3 No knocks against Dwyer and Redman, but it sure is nice to finally have a back with vision and cut back abilities.
    When Red and Dwyer are back there, defenses can overpursue because there was really no threat of a cut back. Bell will keep defenders honest which will create more openings and stretch the D.

  • Tom Savastano

    He sure looked the part of a starting NFL caliber back. Night and day difference from the other backs on the roster. Hope he stays healthy and continues to impress!

  • michael young

    I remember that two yard run well. What Bell did on that play was really impressive. For the past 4 years I have watched our backs spin in the backfield only to be dropped for a loss. He had enough quickness and wiggle to freeze Greenaway who’s a solid tackler, break his arm tackle and enough vision and quickness to cut it back for a small gain. The most impressive thing about this game is with all the opportunities the Vikings had to pull him down for a loss in the backfield it didn’t happen once. That says two things. Our line isn’t very good (no surprise) and this kid has the quickness, vision and power to be an excellent NFL running back. I can’t wait to see him progress as the year goes on.

  • Jeff

    I’ve been looking for a video of the play where Bell absolutely obliterates a vikings cornerback… Haven’t seen that in a long time

  • SteelerFanInMD

    Imagine what he could do with a good offensive line.

  • Mike Carroll

    Couldn’t agree more. On play two, Redman would have been blown up by Greenway, possibly fumbling.

  • Mike Carroll

    To be fair, the O-line was operating with at best, backup quality RBs before. I think they will look better now with Bell playing.

  • Mike Carroll

    Le’Veon looked good on that play. Really nice to see a physically gifted and talented player join the Steelers roster. I’ve said it before, but I really think Haley had significant input on drafting him and deserves credit.

  • Mike Carroll

    I was glad to see Le’Veon do that in the course of gaining additional yardage, unlike what Dwyer did against the Chicago DB. I won’t fault Dwyer because he showed some fire on the play, but he gave up several yards by intentionally targeting the DB.

  • Tom Savastano

    Yep! In my opinion the other backs are backups at best and some would not be on an NFL roster..

  • Dan

    Don’t worry about knocking Dwyer and Redman. That’s perfectly fine to do.

  • Jeff

    The Jets defense will be tough as they only allow 79 rush y/g… It’d be awesome to see Le’veon have a breakout game… Kid looks like a stud

  • Virdin Barzey

    I personally don’t believe that they can block better because I think they lack talent. Hope you are right but I see some bad technique and lack of physicality on that ooh-line

  • Mike Carroll

    Oh, I don’t think it’s a good O-line by any means. I just mean they won’t look quite as bad as before.

  • Menace_501

    Is that Al Woods lined up next to Adams in the last gif?

  • Jonas

    Exactly! But I’m sure a man with his work ethic will work his way back & we’ll have a lot of fun with this guy (he’s 24)

    I guess he simply has lost a few snaps to David Johnson due to his injury and of course Davids performance…
    I just hope that both will contribute to this offense nicely! They both seem to be reliable & talented..!

  • Jonas

    The line is from right to left:
    David Paulson, Marcus Gilbert, David DeCastro(pull left), Fernando Velasco, Kelvin Beachum, Mike Adams, Heath Miller & David Johnson

    No Al Woods on the line!

  • Virdin Barzey

    Feel free to knock Dwyer and Redman…..They are not starters in this league. Backups? Yes

  • Steve

    In Gif#1 Miller was able to seal the end and allow Bell to score.
    In Gif#2 Gilbert runs away from #52 and helps DeCastro on a double team but #52 was right in front of him??
    In Gif#4 Miller blocked 2 people, we really missed him for his blocking and catching.

  • alex

    if we can just keep things close, then we can use our power attack as planned, to wear down teams…this way we have more control over games, and the line certainly will be more motivated because there not on there heals the whole game…

    these guys are big and want to plow, so plow away with Bell…

  • Mike Sweeney

    Its nice to know, we have a running back!!!!!!!

  • PA2AK

    Would be nice to see them use W. Johnson more out of the FB position. There is little push from the OL…having WJ back there with a bit of steam will improve Bell’s success. Lining up everyone on the line is glaringly futile. Lets establish the run…but rarely use a FB? Anyone remember guys named Whitman or Kreider? (not to mention the other RB’s who ‘acted’ as FB’s with pulling double duty as lead blockers over the Steelers’ history).

  • PA2AK

    in Gif #2…was that DJ’s man? Looked like everyone was blocking down.

  • PA2AK

    and a lead blocking FB out of the backfield. If they want to commit to the run…quit putting all these TE’s out there or moving your FB up to the line. Give him some steam so he can act like a FB.

  • PA2AK

    Hopefully they don’t feel the need to abandon the run too early. If it is going to be successful…we’ll need a FB lined up behind Ben as well.

  • Steve

    No tellin! But whoevers it was they screwed up.