As the NFL Draft approaches and fans start to look at gaping holes on their favorite team’s roster, the Pittsburgh Steelers are fortunate that there is one position where a starter is not needed; that position is running back.
Last season, Le’Veon Bell was Mike Tomlin‘s prized possession, and although fans had to wait until the fourth week of the season for him to display his talent, he did not disappoint. For those fans of football who talk about a sophomore slump, I wouldn’t expect one from the second-year back out of Michigan State. Bell dealt with a foot injury that kept him out of the lineup until the Steelers traveled to London to face the Minnesota Vikings, and although he didn’t have the burst everyone expected and only carried for 57 yards, he found pay-dirt twice for quite the coming out party.
It was all downhill from there for Bell who became the workhorse in the Steelers’ backfield, but that work wasn’t just done running the football. What makes Bell a truly lethal player is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Last season he was one yard shy of 400 yards receiving, a mark that put him 12th amongst active NFL running backs in 2013.
The Steelers made him a true dual-threat at the RB position as he rushed for 860 yards on the season and broke Franco Harris‘ franchise record for most cumulative yards from scrimmage by a rookie. Throw in the addition of LeGarrette Blount to lighten the load for Bell along with Mike Munchak as the new offensive line coach, and you should see a running back who could not only break the 1,000-yard mark but be amongst the NFL’s elite backs.
Plain and simple, Le’Veon Bell can play, and there is no sign that his second season should be anything but better than the first. Naysayers should believe the hype surrounding Bell.