Le’Veon Bell Impressive On The Ground Against Cleveland

By Matthew Marczi

Running back Le’Veon Bell finished off his rookie season surpassing Franco Harris’ rookie record for yards from scrimmage in the season finale against the Cleveland Browns. He did so with another impressive rushing performance, coming off his first career 100-yard rushing game the week before.

As has been the case for much of his first season, Bell’s most impressive trait during this game was the patience that he displayed in waiting for the play develop before trying to make something happen.

That was particularly relevant on this play, considering he had to wait for Ramon Foster to come over and pull, and Foster isn’t the most elegant of the offensive linemen.

Still, Foster’s block was key in producing this 15-yard run, as was the work of Marcus Gilbert. Bell’s vision to work through the secondary, dodging tacklers down the field for extra yardage, was also impressive.

Another example of Bell’s impressive patience with the ball in his hands came a few plays later on the same drive in the second quarter. Center Cody Wallace  blocked D’Qwell Jackson, but then lost him, decreasing Bell’s gap. Safety T.J. Ward came up to fill the gap, but Bell made an impressive play to get past him, lowering his shoulder and spinning out of the contact to turn it into a five-yard gain.

At long last, Bell was able to cap the drive with a rushing touchdown, his eighth of the season, on a drive on which he accounted for 47 yards. It was once again an impressive play, especially considering Gilbert seemed to be confused on the play, allowing Billy Winn by him and forcing Bell to dodge him three yards in the backfield.

After spinning out of Winn’s grip, Bell would not be denied as he bowled his way into a pile of Browns defenders standing between him and the goal line. He lowered his shoulder, turned his back, and churned his way into the end zone for the score.

This fourth quarter carry is another impressive one, in that it shows something about Bell’s instincts. He saw that David DeCastro was struggling with Ahtyba Rubin, so he tried to cut it inside rather than following Foster’s pull. When Rubin adjusted, Bell was able to counter by spinning off contact around DeCastro to get upfield in approximately his original target lane for another gain of five.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Jarod Wells


  • RMSteeler

    Will further improve Ben’s play action passing game if Bell can stay healthy. Bell showed great vision and athleticism after just a few games and still had a great season.

  • steeltown

    That TD run is awesome to watch, this kid has an impressive spin move

  • dgh57

    Bell has a lot of the ingredients besides his good vision that will help him be a successful RB in the NFL and that is hurdling defenders, spin move, and a good stiff arm to get those extra yards. Now if we can only get the OL to improve their run game!

  • Matt Manzo

    I really loved the Bell pick! I hope seeing Lacy on the sidelines of that playoff loss quiets the “should’ve drafted Lacy” talk! Bell is the total package!!!

  • mlc43

    While the hurdling defenders is impressive and efficient at times, I hope that I only see that a couple more times throughout his career. That’s an injury waiting to happen.

  • Aric Brown

    Bell is definitely the total package at RB.. he does well blocking has the patience of an 8 year veteran and can catch balls out of the backfield (he also dropped quite a few). The best part is the kid (IMO) is no where near his ceiling…. When we drafted him i was pissed… I wanted Lacy but…. Lacy isn’t gonna get a whole lot better… Leveon is

  • steeltown

    Is it just me or are the gifs above a sad portrayal of Sanders’ usually decent blocking ability. It looks like he runs right into Bell on a crossing route in the 1st gif and in the 2nd gif coming in the left side late you can see him not only halfass blocking his man but then completely quitting before the play was over… ………maybe im being too harsh

  • WilliamSekinger

    Didn’t watch Sanders, but Gilbert letting the DE go so he could block someone who wasn’t there was priceless!

  • r4kolb

    Is it just me or does he in fact not look like Eddie George when he runs? For those that remember him. He was a beast!

  • WilliamSekinger

    He does indeed. Eddie was a freak of a RB just like Bell. Bell is perhaps a bit slower.

  • Steve

    It is not you, Sanders never was decient at blocking nor catching, so he’ll be no BIG loss.

  • Matt Manzo

    Bell seems to have better vision than George! Which is saying something! I don’t remember George shuffling as much as Bell does. But the similarities are there and I’m so glad!

  • Bob Loblaw

    Some of that might just be that Bell is a lot shifftier than Redman and Dwyer. Bell makes some sharp cuts and that’s gotta make it harder to predict what path he’s gonna take.

  • Anthony Renzelli

    It’s great for highlights and desktop backgrounds and it definitely builds momentum for the offense when he jumps over a guy’s head, but i also would hope to see it a lot less.

  • Brendon Glad

    Not trying to jinx the young man, but his style has a bit of Emmitt Smith to it. So heres hoping he can put together a few seasons that resemble his production.

  • Virdin Barzey

    No disrespect to Lacy but I said it way before, that if we can get Bell, we will have a dynamic running back since the Bus….finally. This dude (if healthy) will be in the running for top RB every season.

    I still can’t believe some folks wanted to keep Mendy. Unbelievable.

  • MC

    I hope the questioning about his speed can dissolve now. Yes he isn’t the fastest rb in the league but speed is not something that is vital when running behind our O line. The ability to make people miss is, and that is what this kid has. Incredible instincts of where defenders are not just in front of him but peripherally. He certainly is making Mendenhall look worst in hindsight as Bell actually hits the hole if he dances a lil before it.

  • srdan

    I was turned off by the spin move because of Mendy. He was very inefficient with it. Bell uses it well.

  • dgh57

    When A. Brown is in the process of returning a punt I cheer him on like crazy even though I’m concerned about our #1 WR getting hurt and missing time because I want success in him doing it. When Big Ben is scrambling around trying to avoid being sacked even though he could get hurt I still cheer him on because I still want a successful outcome. It’s no different with Bell as he’s going to do what he’s going to do and there’s nothing I can do to stop him so I cheer him on because again I want a successful play as the outcome. I have my concerns on what all 3 players mentioned as them doing but it’s with always success in mind that I still cheer them on and nothing more.