Le’Veon Bell is the Man to Beat

Le’Veon Bell has dominated his opponents as the 2017 season is in full swing. Bell is the second leading rusher in the NFL this season. (Photo courtesy of Matt Wiener) Le’Veon Bell has dominated his opponents as the 2017 season is in full swing. Bell is the second leading rusher in the NFL this season. (Photo courtesy of Matt Wiener)

Like him or hate him, Le’Veon Bell is a seemingly unstoppable force on the football field. Sooner or later, Bell comes for his opponents and embarrasses them.

The Pittsburgh Steelers running back has been in the NFL since the 2013 season and has no signs of stopping the punishment on those who go against him. Bell has been a big part of getting the Steelers.

Nicknamed “Juice”, Bell’s stats in less than five years are pretty incredible when looked at. Prior to the start of the 2017 season, Bell rushed for more than four thousand yards, and scored more than thirty total touchdowns. The man backs up his stats and proves himself every time he steps on the field.

Bell is more than just a number machine. He is just one part of the Steelers explosive offense. His quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, is a legend on the field and throws to the most explosive part of the offense, Antonio Brown. Together, nicknamed  the 3 B’s, create wins for the Steelers.

From my standpoint, Bell is one of my favorite reasons to watch the game of football. He has so many qualities about him that make me not be able to take my eyes off the screen when he is handed the ball. Let’s explore into what makes Bell a favorite player of mine.

Running Style

Bell isn’t a typical running back in the NFL. The 6’1”, 225-pounder has the explosiveness of most running backs when they are handed the ball but is very precise about it. Most running backs in the NFL are shorter than Bell, and weigh much less, so the amount of agility Bell uses during playing is impressive for someone his size. Unlike most running backs, Bell is hesitant with his running, either waiting on holes to be created or looking for the best path to take that creates the most yardage gain.

Bell’s hesitation is easily recognized by the defenses he opposes, yet it is still effective in gaining yardage for first downs. The two-to-three extra seconds Bell takes to recognize opportunities for him are game-changers, and help him deliver.

Even when his hesitation backfires, and he loses yards from behind the line of scrimmage, Bell always gives a second effort when it seems like he will go down. There is no greater example of this than a regular season game against the San Diego Chargers during the 2015 NFL season.  https://youtu.be/pGb1FLm1FkE

Bell ran up one hole that was filled by defensive lineman, tried to jump over, yet he couldn’t reach the goal line. Bell landed on his feet and ran to the outside and stretched the ball across the goal line for the game winning touchdown for the Steelers.

This second effort is something that is not present in all NFL running backs. Many may not have the strength or power to continue the play, and that’s what makes Bell so unique with his running game. He is one of the most feared players in the league currently, not just from his presence, but the sheer unpredictability Bell brings to every game he plays in.

 

Clutch Trait

The athletes that come up big for their team in a time of need against their opponents for a win are forever remembered by their franchise. Le’Veon Bell is no exception for his Steelers team. He somehow seems to always find a way to set up his team for either a game winning field goal, touchdown pass, or rushing touchdown himself. The saying is big time players make big time plays, during big time games. Bell can be known as one of the best clutch players in the NFL.

Though it may not seem like much, Bell’s plays during the final minutes of his games are critical to helping them get a win. A two-to-five yard run for a first down keeps his team’s hopes of winning the game intact. Not every big game winning play is an eighty yard touchdown where he embarasses the entire opposing defense. Slower and meticulous plays have an equally great effect as longer and bigger plays, which makes Bell fun to watch.

The combination of pure strength, patience and versatility he has as a back in the NFL is something to be afraid of, for fans and opposing defenses alike. Bell is a big presence on and off the field, but almost never fails to deliver in the clutch, usually with the end result giving the Steelers a win.

 

Unpredictability

This is my favorite part about Le’Veon Bell. When handed the ball, Bell seems to hold in his explosion for the right play. Even when the play results in a negative loss of yards, Bell doesn’t give up on the drive easily.

No one that watches the game knows what Bell could do next when he has the play in his hand. His quick feet help him create cuts to trick defenders into a different direction of where he is running. Short and long yardage runs are created constantly when Bell puts his skills to the test. A juke, a spin move, or a sharp cut can happen at any time, and even his teammates are unsure what he will do next, as shown by an NFL series, “Mic’d Up”.

Touchdown runs are the most thrilling to watch for Bell, especially when the Steelers have driven to the goal line. Many times, when the ball is handed off to Bell, it looks as though he has been stopped short, Le’Veon is quick to put those thoughts to shame with a big second effort run, that more likely than not results in a touchdown for the Steelers. The sheer power of Bell is unquestionable on the field.

 

Bell is a feared player on the field, and with good reason. With the numbers and success he has brought to his franchise, one can only imagine what lays ahead for the twenty-five year old of his already bright career. We can only sit back and watch him play to find out.

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