Steelers: Le’Veon Bell’s time to shine
By Jack Tolman
Following the tragic injury to star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in Week 3, the season seemed lost, and Pittsburgh fans nationwide threw their terrible towels to the ground in dismay. Seeing the leader of a team, and a player who has made a significant mark in that team’s history go down is never an easy sight.
Luckily, the season isn’t over, and the Steelers are far from hopeless.
First, there’s the fact that Ben has had a fairly quick recovery according to sources, and while it’s rather unlikely he’ll get a shot to play this weekend against Arizona, it’s likely he’ll be ready to go soon after, and hopefully by the time Pittsburgh plays the division leader, and currently undefeated Cincinnati Bengals.
In the meantime, the Steelers have been forced to lean on veteran quarterback Michael Vick, a variety of weapons in the passing game, and a defense that has been surprisingly okay the last couple of weeks.
Yet, while everyone has really been stepping up in the wake of Roethlisberger’s injury, no player has been more effective and important than Le’Veon Bell.
People know very well that the Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown connection has been the best quartberback-wide receiver duo in the league for the last couple of years, no doubt. With Ben out, Brown has proven to be far less effective, and Vick hasn’t quite learned to trust him, or use him in his playing schemes.
The nickname, “The Three B’s”, being Brown, Bell, and Ben, was given to the most powerful weapons on the Pittsburgh offense. With two of them pretty much out of the picture until Ben is back has left one “B” standing, and that’s Le’Veon Bell.
While it’d be wrong to ignore the amazing heroics of Michael Vick in the vital two minute drill, or the defense’s ability to stop crucial drives, and snatch a game shifting pick 6, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the Steelers were carried to victory on the back of Le’Veon Bell.
It almost seemed that every other play was Le’Veon Bell, and the Chargers simply couldn’t stop him. Since returning from suspension in Week 3, Bell has already rushed for over 300 yards, averaging over 100 yards per game.
On top of that, it’s not that he’s just getting the ball a lot, but he’s doing so much with it. It seems almost every other play, Bell gets a big gain, and finds himself with open field. It’s also fair to note that he rarely goes down after the first hit, and always is insanely aware of where he is on the field.
With his precise cuts, quick feet, insane patience, as well as the cute little skips and trots in open field, watching Bell is like looking at a piece of art; it’s remarkable.
Against the Chargers, and with 5 seconds left in the game, Bell lined up in wild cat formation, received a direct snap, and fought his way into the end zone.
In that play alone, the importance of having a player like Bell was proven greatly, and after watching that play several times, it’s astounding how close it was, and how much effort had to into a single player to stretch the ball across the white plain.
With each game as important as the last in football, it’ll be extremely necessary for Bell to continue the production he has shown the last couple of games, and there’s nothing stopping him.
He may just be the best in the league, and he proves it week by week.
Next: Steelers: Will Shamarko Thomas start on Sunday?
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