Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin recently stated that Le’Veon Bell is the better option than Eddie Lacy when it comes to preference of running backs. Even though both are still rookies and it’s clearly way too early to tell which one will have the better career, it’s safe to say that Tomlin might be a little crazy to think Bell is better than Lacy.
“It was an easy decision for me,” Tomlin said, according to ESPN. “Obviously, Lacy’s a top-quality back, but probably it’s a matter of preference — just like I’m sure Cincinnati (Bengals) went through the same discussions and thoughts when they took Giovani Bernard in front of both of them.”
The Green Bay Packers running back is a stud who will be one of the best in the league in just a few years. He has good speed for his size and he can power through the line with enough force that deters defenders from wanting anything to do with tackling him. He also is an asset in the receiving game. On top of that, he’s solid in pass protection, although that still needs some work.
Lacy is currently seventh in the league in total rushing yards (1,028) and fourth in rushing attempts per game (19.1). He also averages 4.1 yards per carry compared to Bell’s 3.3 yards per attempt. As the weather continues to get colder, and the Packers in need of two wins to clinch the NFC North division, Lacy’s numbers will increase dramatically over the next two weeks.
I’m not saying that Bell hasn’t put up impressive numbers nor is he a fantastic running back. Unfortunately, the fact is Lacy is simply better at this point. Bell has rushed for 646 yards and hauled in 43 receptions for 388 yards. He’s just the third rookie running back in Steelers franchise history to record at least 1,000 yards from scrimmage.
Tomlin may have wanted a more dual-threat back, which is why he wanted Pittsburgh to draft Bell. On top of that, his recent comments might be simply a way for him to fire up his team prior to the Steelers’ showdown with the Packers on Sunday.
With all of that being said, Tomlin could very well eat his words after Pittsburgh didn’t draft Lacy when they had the chance to do so. Of course, only time will tell.