Le’Veon Bell Ties Eric Dickerson For Fastest Player To 7000 Scrimmage Yards

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell played in his 55th game on Sunday. He also reached 7000 total yards from scrimmage in the game. The only other person to have ever reached the mark as fast was the great, Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson.

Which means that Bell just tied Dickerson’s record as the fastest player to reach 7000 career yards from scrimmage. By the end of his 55th game, Dickerson had 7095 yards from scrimmage, a record that he still holds. Bell finished Sunday’s game with 7029 total yards from scrimmage.

The closest player to Dickerson and Bell was Edgerrin James, who totaled 6969 career yards from scrimmage in his first 55 games. I’m just going to assume that he ended up reaching 7000 yards in his 56th game, having needed only 31 more yards.

Just so we are clear on this, 7000 yards is a lot. And 55 games is not a lot to get that many. In order to total 7000 yards from scrimmage in 55 games, one has to average over 127 yards from scrimmage per game, which is an exceptional pace to maintain over what is the equivalent of nearly three and a half full seasons.

Oh, and no other player in Steelers history has even come anywhere close to matching Bell’s yardage output. According to the team’s Twitter account, the fastest player to 7000 previously in team history was running back Jerome Bettis. He accomplished it in his 75th game with the team. That is 26.7 percent longer.

In case you were wondering, if you wanted to start Bettis’ clock from the beginning of his career, it actually took him even longer to accrue his first 7000 yards in total, not just with the Steelers, doing so in his 79th game.

The reason, of course, that Bell has been able to churn out so much yardage, which can without appropriate perspective seem to far outdistance historical greats such as Bettis and Franco Harris, is because of what he also brings to the table as a pass-catcher.

Very few accomplished running backs also have the hands and feet coordination, the route-running ability, and the run after the catch skills to stay in line with Bell, who early in his career is showing to be one of the best receiving threats at the position that we have seen.

Consider this: he once had 159 receiving yards in one game. He has had at least 80 receiving yards in a game five times, and at least 50 receiving yards in 20 separate games. In only 21 of 55 career games has he totaled fewer than 25 receiving yards.

Meanwhile, he has 17 100-yard rushing games to date, with two over 200 yards, and two others that totaled at least 175. By my count, he has totaled at least 125 yards from scrimmage in nearly half of his games, 27 out of 55, in the regular season.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

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

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Careful – Bells salary demands just went up again!! We were at $17M already.

  • colingrant

    I don’t understand how he’s considered to be tied with Dickerson, when he’s actually 66 yards shy of Dickerson’s total. I can see being the only two players to exceed 7,000 yards in 55 games, but wouldn’t Dickerson still sit alone at the top of total yards from scrimmage is 55 games? I’ll read again, perhaps I missed a detail.

  • falconsaftey43

    Just the way it’s worded. It was “fastest to 7000 yards” which took each of them 55 games. Not “most yards in first 55 games.”

  • colingrant

    Yeah……..just deleted/edited my post. Hung up on the “tie” word, as opposed to “joined”. Semantics

  • Doug Andrews

    Is he worth that top RB dollar?

  • NCSteel

    Call me when you match Franco Harris’s super bowl rings brother.
    He’s great and all but this means not a whole lot until he’s wearing the jewelry to match.

  • I know he might be the most important part of this offense. He is clearly the best RB in the league.

    While it sets a bad precedence to give into player demands, you have to find a way to keep your star players.

    There has to be a middle ground that can be reached.

  • Charles Haines

    Depends what you mean by “top”. He is already the highest paid and he turned down Steelers offer which also would have made him the highest paid (by 50%) RB. Bell wants WR money, and it’s hard to argue he’s not worth it based on yardage but the suspension and injuries HAVE to be part of the equation. Bell/agent took one hell of a risk turning down that deal because how much more does he really think he can get?

  • Tell that to Curtis Martin or Barry Sanders.

    Harris didn’t win those rings all by himself.

  • Doug Andrews

    I was against paying Bell 15 mill a season but the numbers speak for themselves. I couldn’t agree with you more he makes the offense click. Minus Bell back there next year and we might as well prepare for a different offense. At the least and it’s early but I think he’s deserving of another tag if they can’t find that middle ground.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    To be mentioned in the same breath as Dickerson is sweet!

  • will

    “Imma need 15”. And counting up

  • Doug Andrews

    Probably right at the tag just as this year’s deal averaged out to. Surprising as it might be there’s always a team willing to overpay for a player. To Bell’s credit when he’s on the field he produces and that = dollars. I’m starting to rethink my original decision that Bell’s not worth the money as a matter of fact in this offense he just might be worth every penny. The problem for Bell is that I just don’t think the Steelers will shell out that kind of cash that he asking for. I think Colbert and co. tag him for another year.

  • Brenton deed

    From memory Dickerson ran in what is a more “upright” way than is considered ideal and so does Bell. Maybe it helps with vision?

  • nutty32

    Gonna say Bell is the best all around RB talent since Walter Payton. Tough, functional talent.

    ED was a great slasher & fun to watch behind that all pro line & John Robinson’s USC student body left/right playbook but was contact adverse, regularly beat up on bad defenses but shut down by good defenses & certainly didn’t win many playoff games; kind of the AP of his day in a lot of ways except toughness.