Pittsburgh Steelers rookie running back Le'Veon Bell registered the first 100-yard rushing performance of his young career Sunday in the win over the Green Bay Packers, so it's only fair to highlight a few of his successful runs.
Numerous times this season, Bell has shown a great ability to press the offensive line and read his blocks, and on the Steelers first offensive play of the game he did just that.
Pre snap, the Steelers motioned both Matt Spaeth and Heath Miller from the right to the left side. At the snap, Bell presses the line just enough that it freezes Packers inside linebacker Brad Jones. At the same time, it allows Spaeth, Miller and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to all control the edge. Bell is then left to only beat cornerback Sam Shields, who takes a poor angle initially. Bell gives him a quick fake inside before beating him to the sideline for an 11 yard gain.
The next play that we will look at is an even better example of Bell pressing the offensive line and setting up his own blocks. On 2nd and 8 from the Steelers own 29 yard-line late in the first quarter, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger checks to a run play out of the no-huddle due to the lack of defenders that the Packers have inside the box. What's not seen in the gif below is Roethlisberger checking with Bell at the last second to make sure that he knows the call. Bell nods that he does. At the snap, Packers inside linebacker A.J. Hawk engages center Cody Wallace and you can see him flash his head into the wide open A gap. Upon seeing that, Bell continues to press and fakes to his left. Hawk flashes that way into the other A gap and commits just enough to it that Wallace is then able to turn him. Bell then has a huge lane thanks to great blocks on the right side of the line by David DeCastro, Marcus Gilbert and Spaeth.
On his first carry following his first fumble of the season, Bell again shows great patience and ability to read the Packers defense. On the play, the Steelers pull left guard Ramon Foster to the right side. Bell can take this run inside behind Foster or outside depending on how he reads his blocking and whether or not Hawk fills the hole. Hawk instead scrapes over the top, so Bell slams up in behind Foster, who makes a nice adjustment by helping Spaeth being as his own man has vacated the gap. Once he's free in the second level, Bell shows Packers safety Morgan Burnett his version of the Lambeau Leap.