For those of you who paid attention, Le’Veon Bell reached a somewhat historic milestone on Sunday night. With the 107 yards he accumulated from scrimmage against the Cincinnati Bengals, the running back became only the third player in franchise history to total over 1,000 yards of total offense during a rookie season.
Bell entered some pretty select company last night since Franco Harris and Bam Morris were the only two players in that particular group. With those two players in mind, I think it is safe to say that the former Michigan State Spartan has done a solid job during his injury-plagued rookie campaign.
Although Bell (636 yards) might not display the type of proficiency running the ball as Harris (1,055 yards) and Morris (836 yards) did during their rookie seasons, it has been his work in the passing game which has caught the eyes of many this fall.
Overall, Bell ranks fourth on the team with 43 catches (388 receiving yards) through his first eleven professional games. Not since Mewelde Moore recorded 40 receptions back in 2008 have the Steelers had a receiving threat at the running back position like Bell.
Best of all, Bell has done his damage in a multitude of ways as a receiver. Whether it has been in the screen game, as a check-down safety valve and even in the slot against over-matched linebackers and safeties, the rookie has emerged as one of the offense’s most versatile weapons.
Although Bell has plenty to improve upon as a runner, his proficiency as a pass-catcher has brought an element of versatility to Pittsburgh’s already dangerous offense. Bell’s catches and yards totals dwarf those of Harris (21 for 180 yards) and Morris (22 for 204 yards), and the rookie still has two games left to play to pad those specific stats.
So kudos to you, Le’Veon. You’ve entered quite the talented group with your performance so far this fall. If your career goes in the direction of Franco’s instead of Bam’s, then I think that all of us in Steeler Nation will be in for a treat during the coming seasons.
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