3 reasons Le’Veon Bell was overrated on the Pittsburgh Steelers

Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /
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Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Ben Roethlisberger and downfield passing game made it easy for RB to succeed

For almost every team, there are three factors that are largely responsible for a running back’s success in the NFL: scheme, offensive line, and the downfield passing game. It’s been years since Ben Roethlisberger has been considered one of the best deep-ball throwers in the league. However, Le’Veon Bell was quite fortunate that he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers during Ben Roethlisberger’s prime, and Big Ben could sling the ball down the field with the best of them.

With the assistance of four-time All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown and freakish deep threat Martavis Bryant, Roethlisberger really put fear into opposing defenses – forcing them to play deep Cover 2 often against Pittsburgh. This offered some extremely favorable boxes to Le’Veon Bell.

While many running backs around the league had tough sledding with 7 and 8-man boxes, Bell saw a vast amount of 6-man boxes over a five-year span in Pittsburgh thanks to Roethlisberger and the constant threat of beating teams down the field. Allowing Bell to gain some chunk yardage on the ground was better than the alternative of getting shredded by Brown down the field. Bell was drafted by the perfect team for him at the perfect time.

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Don’t get me wrong; Le’Veon Bell was still a very good football player. But I don’t think he’s the perennial All-Pro-caliber player that everyone tried to make him out to be. A running back’s success is tied to the scheme, the offensive line, and the passing game, and he couldn’t have been in a better position to succeed than he was in Pittsburgh.