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Le’Veon Bell Is Exactly Who The Steelers Thought He Would Be


When the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Le’Veon Bell in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the hope was that they acquired an all-around running back. While Bell started the season slow due to a foot injury and an unsettled offensive line, he is now exhibiting the all-around potential that he showed at Michigan State.

Over the course of the last five weeks, Bell has registered 320 yards rushing on 95 carries and another 237 yards receiving on 20 receptions. It might surprise you to know that Bell’s 557 total yards over the course of those five weeks ranks him sixth overall in league in total combined rushing and receiving yardage during that span. In fact, Bell has produced exactly 100 more yards of offense than wide receiver Antonio Brown has during that same five week span of games.

Another reason why the Steelers liked Bell so much was because of his ability to get yards after contact and he has not let them down when it comes to that area of his game. According to Pro Football Focus, 204 of Bell’s 320 rushing yards (63.8%), have come after first contact.

Bell will never be a breakaway running back, but in the Thursday night loss to the Baltimore Ravens, he showed that he does have the ability to break a long run. While his pass blocking is not yet where it needs to be, he has shown improvement in that area of his game and he should only get better at it moving forward.

There are still four games left in the regular season and if the Steelers are going to have a shot at sneaking into the playoffs as the final AFC Wild Card team, they will need Bell to continue contributing like he has over the course of the last five weeks. While he did suffer a concussion late in the game against the Ravens, all signs point to him being ready to go by Sunday for the Steelers game against the Miami Dolphins.

While Bell certainly won’t win the league Offensive Rookie of the Year Award this season, he should be shoe-in to win the Steelers version of it. He’s exactly who the Steelers thought he was when they drafted him.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • T R

    Now i just can’t wait for the Steelers to be who Bell thought they were and help him out too..

  • Tom Savastano

    Hes looking like an every down starting RB, glad hes a Steeler! Wish he was in there for the 2 point conversion attempt..

  • JAMESH

    Wish I had said that. Great analysis.

  • steeltown

    Ha!

  • steeltown

    I was arguing this the other day, fans are looking at his yds per avg and overall rushing yds, but they’re not looking at the bigger picture. He has nearly 850 all purpose yds and 5TDs in 9 games and has accounted for 42 first downs behind an OL that has struggled (again) this year. I think he’s been a bright spot this season, along with Cam Heyward, Worilds, Cotchery and A.Brown

  • Lamarr56

    So glad he is a Steeler. He will be the best RB out of the 2013 draft class.

  • Chad H

    He is getting it going. Man, next year I think we can see beast mode out of this kid! He looks like a smart kid too who is picking up the play book rather fast.
    This year is almost in the history books for the Steelers but next year things appear to be looking up with Bell, Heyward and Beachum. Not sure if Worilds will be there but that would be nice.

  • HopalongCassidy

    Bell has been very good, however, his pass catching is a little below my expectations at this point. He has dropped some key passes that should have been easy receptions. If he can pick that part of his game up, he’ll be everything I thought he could be. I have no doubt that he could easily contribute 2,000 yds. per season combined running and catching if he played behind a good line and remained healthy.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Yes, he is going to be great. Look at the little things he does. When the Steelers are better, he will be much, much better. I was ecstatic when they drafted him! It was scary to see his head move so quickly side to side on that play the other day. Those movements really shake your head up.

    We should think of a great nickname for him. If we expect a great career from him, he should have a great nickname.

  • Virdin Barzey

    Good one.

  • Virdin Barzey

    I remember during the draft folks kept calling for Lacy. No disrespect to that kid but LeVeon did more with less and he was the perfect fit. I watched all his videos and all of Lacy’s and once we got LeVeon, it was just a matter of him staying healthy. BTW, the line still is a work in progress so imagine what he will be once….IF we ever get it fixed.

  • steeltown

    Big Ben..and now we have the Bell Tower?… no that’s kinda lame haha

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Even though I liked everything I saw in Bell’s tape from Michigan State, I’ll admit that I said “Wow” out loud when the Steelers picked him in the second round (seemed too early).

    But I am as happy as many other fans to have my mild skepticism proven wrong. I love Bell’s physical, yet elusive style…a great fit for this team. I am also THRILLED to have a reliable receiver in Bell out of the backfield, not merely a check-down option. With his height and dual-threat abilities, we could easily be grooming another Matt Forte.

    Of course he’s a rookie, and there’s lots left to learn. But in my book, he has earned every right to face those lessons on the field (and the occasional errors that come with them). I believe in Bell, I love his drive and work ethic, and I look forward to his future with this team.

  • cencalsteeler

    How about Bell Cow? Everyone can start ringing cow bells every time he carries the ball.

  • Dorkewicz

    I love how well Bell played in both Ravens games

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    TR-
    You are quickly becoming one of my favorite posters

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    This reminds us a very important lesson about the draft.

    You never know for sure when a player WILL be drafted. So when we post mock drafts saying “this player will be available later” that is not always an accurate statement.

    It only takes one team to like that guy more the rest and he will be gone before he “should’ve” been. The Steelers were not willing to take that chance with Bell. And so far it looks like they were right.

    Also, I remember Tomin/Colbert saying (paraphrasing) “We selected Bell right where we had him valued.” In other words, the Steelers rankings differed from Mel Kiper, Mayock, Walter, etc. Wouldn’t it be great to see a final list of the Steelers rankings every year?

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Brilliant! I’m not crazy about the name, but just think about fans showing up with cow bells and making a crap load of noise. That might get the crowd and team going. Imagine. Wow!

  • WilliamSekinger

    Run for the border Taco Bell! Hehe

  • T R

    aww thanks LOL, i think.. I learning from Dave B.

  • T R

    Uhm i think Goodell would fine the steelers for excessive celebration or unsportsmanlike conduct. Making all that noise.. Lets be maybe the Liberty Bell, and free of some this mess we in. LOL

  • Mike.H

    Confused: Does 5TD stand for — Sexually Transmitted Disease?

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Oh, I agree. Rankings are never exact, and it only counts that each team is getting the players they value, in the order they value them. And the Steelers put FAR more work and information into their selections than we armchair GMs do.

    It’s also thrilling to see Bell (whose draft stock was modest) turning out to be a better all-around back than the top-rated (and gravely overhyped) #1 RB of last year, Trent Richardson.

    At a time when some of the current greats are showing signs of wearing down (Rice, Foster, MJD), I’m glad for the Steelers’ bright future at the position.

  • Mike.H

    In sourthern ‘drawl, please”

    I was sittin’ in my re’cliner, I says to my brotherh, “hell, had that Le’veon kid been healthy all preseason, we woulda gott’em 2 wins out ta’that kid.”

    That I burped, changed channel and fell asleep. [ had that been true, we woulda been chasing the AFC north Div title currently.]

  • steeltown

    Except for the majority of the time the bells would be ringing while Le’Veon and our Offense are on the field, no bueno

  • steeltown

    I like that name (minus the actual cow bells) because a bell cow is a leader

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Right. We can’t have that. Bells could only be rung after offensive plays. Now we have to think of something for the defense.

  • 2winz

    what about “neon”? rhymes with his first name and i like the way it sounds when i say it with his last name..neon bell

  • Don

    What stands out to me is the way he plays and carries himself on the field..He does not look or act like a rookie on the field..That’s what they usually say about the great ones when they come out of college and I see that in him..

  • Johnny Loose

    Gotta go with Bell Cow. That’s what I’ve called him from day one. He was/is going to be the Bell Cow. And since he is what we thought he was, we should let him off the hook. Just sayin..

  • JAMESH

    I think 19 “ARROWS UP” is a new record.

  • ND_Steel

    I hope you all are right. Personally, I’m not sold yet. I see an above average back, but not great at any one thing. No breakaway speed, good but not overwhelming power, and just decent hands. I’m most impressed with his blocking ability and his patient running, but sometimes wish he would hit the hole harder when its just not there. I’d rather have the breakaway speed…Willie Parker…or the wear-you-out power running…Jerome Bettis.

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