If things go according to the way Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin thinks that they will in 2014, running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount should both get plenty of opportunities to carry the football this upcoming season.
“They’re both going to get their share,” said Tomlin during his final press conference of training camp.
Tomlin, however, said that while both running backs should see their fair share of work in 2014, there is no master plan for the season as there are so many things that could alter the amount of work that both receive.
“In terms of anything more detailed than that, no, we will deal with that on a game-by-game basis, based on the plan, based on health of the men and a lot of other variables, obviously,” he said. “We have a great deal of confidence in both guys; both guys are going to be central reasons why we’re successful. That’s the plan and I think they’re open to that.”
It will be interesting to see if Blount is used to spell Bell after every couple of series early on in the season or if the team uses him more situationally. One thing is for certain and that’s that Blount likely won’t see a lot of third down snaps unless it’s a short-yardage situation.
Once he finally was over the foot sprain that caused him to sit the first three games of his rookie 2013 season, Bell played 691 of the 890 (77.6%) offensive snaps in the final 13 games. The fewest snaps that he played in one single game was 46 and that was in the Week 10 win over the Buffalo Bills.
Running backs on the Steelers 2013 roster combined to carry the football 356 times last season and Bell had 243 of those carries. It’s hard seeing him not hit that number again in 2014 as long as he stays healthy, so Blount could very well be lucky to carry the ball 100 times in total as rookie running back Dri Archer is sure to steal a few carries throughout the season as well.