Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Tomlin: ‘Easy Decision’ to Pick Le’Veon Bell Over Eddie Lacy


Eddie Lacy vs. Le’Veon Bell.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers were on the clock with the 48th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, it appeared that Pittsburgh’s brass would choose one of the two players if they decided to go in the running back direction.

Many in Steeler Nation debated which running back Pittsburgh would take during the months leading up to the draft, and both Lacy and Bell were popular choices. Thus, picking between the two productive college running backs appeared to be a tough choice from the outside looking in back in April.

Yet in his weekly press conference earlier today, the decision regarding whether to take Bell or Lacy with the franchise’s second round pick was quite easy for Pittsburgh’s head coach Mike Tomlin:





First of all, I will always maintain that Pittsburgh’s brass should have filled another need in the second round of last April’s draft. At that juncture of the draft process, the Steelers had too many other pressing needs to fill at inside linebacker, wide receiver, tight end and cornerback. All of those outweighed their need for a running back in my opinion, so I remain less than thrilled that they reached for a running back in the second round.

My take on the situation aside, I can totally understand Tomlin’s logic when it came to choosing between both players. If the Steelers were looking for a more versatile running back, then yes, I could understand why Bell was their selection be over Lacy.

While Green Bay’s second round pick has proved to be the superior runner thus far (1,028 rushing yards and eight touchdowns compared to Bell’s 646 rushing yards and six touchdowns), Bell’s ability to be used in the passing game out of the backfield, lined up in the slot or outside the numbers makes him a tremendous weapon (43 catches for 388 yards compared to Lacy’s 31 catches for 236 yards). Furthermore, Bell’s underrated pass-blocking skills have made him a big help behind Pittsburgh’s makeshift offensive line since he entered the starting lineup in Week Four.

Regardless of the difficulty of Tomlin’s choice, both Lacy and Bell have done well during their rookie seasons. I am sure the Lacy vs. Bell debate will be mentioned plenty of times during the upcoming game, and I will be interested to will be interested to see how both backs perform when Green Bay and Pittsburgh match up this weekend.




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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft Eddie Lakcy Le'Veon Bell Pittsburgh Steelers

  • bk

    I still cannot believe they took him over Lacy… look at yards per carry… Lacy can make a guy miss…
    In my opinion it was a huge mistake… time will tell and I may be wrong, but, not if recent history regarding Tomlin’s picks are any indication. I remember on draft day and when Lacy was there
    and the Steelers were picking… everyone in the house was so excited cuz we were getting Lacy…
    then … ugh…

    • FO REALZ

      Give Le’Veon the kind of O-Line that Lacy has and he’d be a 1500+ rusher.

      • bk

        That’s like saying give Ben: Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Matt Forte,
        Joe Thomas, Joe Staley, Jahri Evans, Logan Mankins, Max Unger, Jimmy Graham,
        AJ Green, and VOntae Leach and saying he would be a 5000 yard passer..(maybe with Sean Payton coaching…
        Lacy is a better RB and would have been the better choice.

        • Dom DiTolla

          Lacy is a far superior runner than Bell is. He has more power, speed, and quicker feet. Bell however is the better pass receiver and pass-blocker. Personally, I wished they avoided taking a running back that early at all in April’s draft.

          As i mentioned in the article, the fact they took a running back instead of someone like Keenan Allen, Aaron Dobson, Sio Moore, Jon Bostic, Jamie Collins, Robert Alford, or Leon McFadden at a position of far greater need still incenses me.

          • bk

            Agreed… especially considering the fact that he (Bell) probably would have been there in round 3 anyway.
            Oh well, can’t go back in time… otherwise we could have traded down and taken Patterson in Rd1, up to take Kiko Alonso in rd 2 and then taken Bell in the third…

          • Dom DiTolla

            I was one of the few who advocated trading down in Round 1 for volume in terms of draft picks so this team could rebuild. Shame they douched things up in Round 2 when they took a running back who does not possess the speed or agility to challenge defenses on the second level.

      • Carl Eagan

        Have you watched the packers their O-line is worse at run blocking than ours! Dom is right though a better player in another position would have help the Steeler’s more and bet Bell would have been available later in the draft.

  • Rick Shaffer

    Then there’s Giovani Bernard. Class player. Don’t know his states but he has the look of a big time player all over him.