Despite him missing the first three games of the regular season due to a suspension, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell enters Week 13 with 699 rushing yards. Bell has amassed a lot of those ground yards with a very patient running style that sometimes includes him almost coming to full stop behind the line of scrimmage.
During a Wednesday interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Bell was asked how he came about developing such a patient running style.
“I just think that’s something that grew over me over the course of time from when I was a little kid to where I am now,” Bell said. “My uncle always taught me to follow my blockers, use my blockers, so I think I just kind of perfected it in a way and now I’m at a point where I trust my offensive linemen to the death of me.
“So, when those guys are doing their job up front, I can really dictate and try to set up linebackers and d-linemen to create holes and make their job easier so at the same time they make my job easier. I just think over the course of time I’ll just continually get better at it and more patient and that’s something I take pride in.”
While Bell has been effective carrying the football so far this season, even more impressive is the fact that he’s already registered 57 receptions on the season for another 437 yards. He’s managed to do that mostly on first and second downs and at times against defenses who try to Green Dog blitz (hug blitz) him.
“Yeah, a lot of people try to Green Dog, but a lot of defenders, they kind of get nervous that I will release,” Bell said Wednesday. “I think sometimes, if I do get a sense they’re Green-Dogging me, I’ll just act like I’m going to release just to see if they’re really Green-Dogging me. So, I’ll release kind of bluffing even though I have the guy in protection, but I might bluff him to see if he’s really covering me. So as soon as they release when I release, ok, I know he’s got me in man. So yeah, there’s definitely guys who do that, but I think that’s when the savviness comes in.
“Me just seeing it over the course of time, because I remember my second year it was a little difficult for me because that’s not something I was used to seeing. My rookie year, the beginning of my second year, I wasn’t used to seeing that, but I think last year and especially this year, I watch the film and I know what they like to do and I know what downs and distances they like to blitz. I know when they’re trying to play man, so I think my film study and just my own feel readiness and being savvy really helped me.”
On Sunday, Bell and the Steelers will face a New York Giants defense that has only allowed one single running back to amass 100 total yards from scrimmage in a single game all season. Bell, on the other hand, has registered more than 100 total yards from scrimmage in seven of the eight games that he’s played in so far this season and is averaging 142 total yards per game. To beat the Giants on Sunday, the Steelers will likely need Bell to exceed the 100-yard total amount.
“I think their front-four is what really makes them go,” Bell said about the Giants defense. They’ve got two very good defensive ends who love to get after the pass rush and not only that, they’ve got two interior d-linemen who are real stout at stopping the run. So, I think it’s going to be a very up-hill challenge for us. They’ve got great guys on the outside, like their corners and safety, No. 21, he’s playing at an All-Pro level, so I think it’s just going to be a great challenge for us.”