Believe it or not, the Pittsburgh Steelers report to training camp on July 25th, and we are digging up the '32 Scenarios in 32 Days' segment to help us all pass the time. Once a day we will be drafting a potential 2015 season scenario, telling you why it will happen, why it won't and giving you important keys for the scenario to take place.
Scenario: RB Le'Veon Bell is able to tally 1,000 yards receiving in 2015.
Why it will happen: Le'Veon Bell is a talented running back, but he could be equally talented as a receiver. Despite his success in 2014 on the ground, Todd Haley could be preparing to utilize Bell even more in the passing game than he did last year when he caught over 800 yards receiving.
Some might point to Bell's early season suspension as a reason this scenario couldn't become reality, but Bell's skill set very well could trump any loss of playing time due to suspension. The Steelers are a team built for speed, and passing the ball is the fastest mode of transportation in the modern day NFL. Bell's receiving skills only put an emphasis on the team's ability to air it out early and often.
32 scenarios in 32 days: Shazier locks down ILB
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a ton of talent at the inside linebacker position, but in 2015 will Ryan Shazier lock down the position he held as a rookie in 2014 before injuries derailed his season?
As the Steelers develop their offense, it will be extremely difficult for defenses to keep everyone available accounted for on every play. If Antonio Brown gets double coverage, Martavis Bryant could be open. Play a two-deep zone to stop the big play and Markus Wheaton and Health Miller will pick apart the middle of the field. Assign linebackers to those two players and you have Bell as the remaining weapon to exploit the defense. A versatile and lethal offense will only play to Bell's advantage in this scenario.
Why it won't happen: Bell had over 800 yards of receiving in 2014, and that was in a 16-game season. Bell's suspension will certainly play a role in this scenario coming to fruition, and not for the better. If Bell is suspended for more than one game, it will be extremely difficult for him to have over 1,000 yards receiving.
On top of the possible suspension, the Steelers offense is so dynamic, it shouldn't need to rely on Bell as much in the passing game as it did in 2014. Bell is a great receiver, but a dominant running back who can keep drives moving, and a mediocre defense off the field with drive sustaining first downs will be more important than a receiver.
Lastly, one of the lesser known qualities Bell possesses is in pass protection. Bell is a tremendous blocker, and is invaluable as a blocker against the blitz. If Bell is constantly going out for a pass it will leave Ben Roethlisberger vulnerable in the pocket against the pass rush. Despite the desire to send Bell out against a linebacker with consistency, keeping him in as more of a traditional running back might be the team's best option in 2015.
Keys: The key to this scenario is taking what the defense gives you. If the Steelers can thrive in three-wide receiver sets and allow Bell to do his magic from the back field as well as out wide as a receiver, he will have his chances to make this scenario come true. The Steelers' offense will be lethal enough for him to certainly catch 1,000 yards if that is what Haley and company want to do. Whether that is appropriate in the team being successful is up for debate.