Rookie running back Le’Veon Bell knows he has his work cut out for him to see quality playing time this season, but he is willing to do whatever it takes.
“I want to come in here and try and compete and win games,” said Bell. “We have a lot of talent in the backfield. All I can do is go out there and compete.
“I am ready for whatever. I just want to go out there and do the best that I can. I don’t want to set any expectations for anyone. I just want to do the best that I can.”
One of the keys for Bell is to get a good understanding of the offense between now and the start of training camp so he will be able to go full speed then. He will have plenty of time between the end of minicamp on Thursday and the first training camp practice on July 27 to do just that.
“It’s just the ability to grasp the entire offense, the entire package, from a protection standpoint, ball security, running the right route on pass plays,” said running backs coach Kirby Wilson. “We are looking for all phases from him in order to be able to compete at the highest level. The fundamentals have to be there.
“He wants to learn the offense so he has a chance to compete for a job, so they know what to do and how to do it.”
Wilson said one of the toughest things for rookies to learn is pass protection, and it’s something he will have work on if he wants to get on the field.
“That’s any running back,” said Wilson. “You have to be able to protect the quarterback or you won’t play. That’s not just in Pittsburgh. That’s in every NFL city.
“There is so much more technique involved. You are going against skilled pass rushers, as opposed to guys in college that are just rushing. For these guys, it’s an art. There are counter moves, and these guys are very explosive that rush the passer in the NFL.”
Got to love Bell's combination of talent and attitude. Dwyer has talent but little attitude. Redman has attitude but little talent. I think Dwyer and Redman will be seeing greatly reduced opportunities to carry the ball.
Let's hope Bell is starting from Day 1.
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