Not that Ben Roethlisberger gushing over Le’Veon Bell is a surprise. It’s well deserved.
Speaking with reporters today via Steelers.com, Roethlisberger heaped a ton of praise on Bell. It didn’t focus around him as a runner, that much is obvious who even is a casual fan, but on everything else he does to help the team.
“He’s a complete back. Whether it’s picking up a blitz. There’s never a fear in my mind when they blitz, he’s not going to get his guy. There’s probably a lot of quarterbacks in this league that, when their running back is blocking, they’re probably a little nervous and peeking over their shoulder. I never have that fear. I know in the pass game, he’s going to get open, catch passes, make plays. And then we all know what he can do in the run game. He’s just a special back and to me, he’s the best all-around back in the league.”
Even more impressive than the stats are the number of snaps he logs. It’s an era where workhorse backs are truly far and few betweeen. Despite not playing in the first three games because of suspension, Bell is still 6th in the NFL for running backs snaps. When he’s playing, he’s a 90% snap count type of back.
It’s a level of conditioning that is not only rare for a running back but most skill players.
Roethlisberger can attest and told reporters he doesn’t think Bell ever gets tired.
“Not that I know of,” Ben joked when asked. “He doesn’t appear to.”
He did point out that in the rare case where Bell is a bit winded, Roethlisberger can help him out by taking control of the offense.
“I’ve told him before, if we’re in the no huddle and I’m calling plays and you need [a breather], I can call a play where you’re not doing as much to get a quick breather. Rather than go out and leave the game, I’ll just call a play so you can get a breather. Doesn’t happen very often, if ever.”
In eight games this year, Bell has rushed for 699 yards on a 4.6 average. He’s caught 57 passes and is still on pace to break the team – and his current – record of 83 receptions by a running back. Bell is on track for 92. Sunday will be a challenge for him when he takes on a tough New York Giants’ rush defense.