I will admit that I was quite critical of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ brass when they made Le’Veon Bell their second round pick in this past April’s draft.
I could not understand why the front office passed on other positions of equal need (inside linebacker and wide receiver) for a running back who might have issues adjusting to the speed of the professional game, and Bell’s injuries during the preseason and training camp did little to inspire confidence.
After Pittsburgh’s loss to Minnesota yesterday though, I think that it is safe to say that the Steelers made the right decision to draft the former Michigan State Spartan.
In his NFL debut, and with only three preseason carries under his belt, Bell did his best to prove his doubters wrong. Overall, the rookie racked up 57 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, four catches, and 27 receiving yards against Minnesota’s defense.
While those stats weren’t particularly mind-boggling, Bell illustrated deceptive agility and quickness, and definitely looked the part of the “every-down back” he was touted to be back in April. Best of all however, Bell looked like a much more competent option for the Steelers to turn to in the running game on a consistent basis than veterans Felix Jones and Jonathan Dwyer.
It will be interesting to see how Bell progresses throughout this “lost season” for the Steelers, especially if his work-load increases on the ground. Thankfully though, it definitely appears like the rookie has the tools to be an effective “every-down back” for Pittsburgh’s offense to employ going forward.
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