If a coach were to break down Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell over his rookie season, one negative that would be noted would be less-than-desirable speed to the edge.
Can't have everything; they're not all built like Jim Brown or Adrian Peterson.
Bell makes up for his weaknesses with patience and fluidity. His vision is adequate, but it's something that has and will continue to improve.
Just don't look for any sprint draws outside the tackles. In an element game, like the Steelers will see when they head to Lambeau Field in Green Bay this weekend, that play wouldn't be called often for Brown or Peterson, let alone Bell.
Bell is built for these kinds of games. It's more about finding where defenders aren't, as opposed to beating them to spots. That takes patience. Fluid movement that doesn't get halted by acceleration slips help drive that.
And considering Green Bay's general struggles against the run this season (123.4 yards a game, 25th in the NFL), if Bell was going to crack 100 yards in a game this season, it will be in this one.
He's fully capable of doing it. Much can and deserves to be said about his positional opponent, Eddie Lacy, but it's not as if Lacy's performances overall have grossly exceeded Bell's. He's gotten a few better games, and he's played in a few more games. But in the single digits on a snow-cleared field, like what's expected Sunday, it's not about big plays, it's about consistent plays.
The Packers are down defensive end Johnny Jolly, and considering the rest of their defense has been mediocre at best this season, his absence may be a benefit. But if the guy replacing him will play worse than him, this is a game the Steelers can dominate offensively.
Bell will be the kingpin of that plan. The Steelers learned in the second half against Miami the dangers of going toe-to-toe with teams in the snow in the second half. Grinding the clock and making this a possession football game will work in their favor overall.
If the Steelers choose such a plan, prepare for Bell's first trip over the century mark this season.
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