Followers of Le’Veon Bell on social media might wonder if he ever has time to workout during the offseason, given how focused he seems to be on his “music career.” But just because he rarely posts highlights of his training regimen like many of the other names on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster, it doesn’t mean he's not staying in shape.
Despite missing the entire preseason last year, it would be fair to say that Bell was in good condition when he did eventually arrive. However, it would also be just as fair to note that he wasn’t actually in football shape until about Week 4 or 5. Coincidentally enough, that was about the same length of time it took the rest of his teammates to complete the team's organized training activities he had missed before the season started.
Perhaps hoping to avoid another slow start to the year after missing a second training camp this offseason, it seems Bell will be doing his best to recreate the exercises and drills he would have done at Saint Vincent College, but without the inconvenience of actually having to be there.
According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Bell will be working with private trainer and noted footwork specialist Rischad Whitfield in the coming weeks, and the man known as “The Footwork King” has created a workout program that will somehow account for Bell’s absence from camp. As he told Fowler.
“For Le’Veon’s case, since he’s not at camp right now, a lot of our workouts will consist of running back drills that are applicable and functional for game-time situations. I will incorporate tons of reading and reaction drills as if he’s running the football and he has to read and react quickly with the proper footwork, body control and agility needed to get from one hole to another and make defenders miss in the open space.”
While this sounds good on paper, it's hard to imagine how this will adequately replicate the physical nature of training camp. If he's looking for the camp experience, it would seem simpler just to go to Latrobe. Bell opted to work with Whitfield right before the start of the 2017 season, and that didn't appear to make up for missing out on three weeks of training with his teammates. Regardless, Whitfield remains confident.
“I’ll do a lot of things that will help Le’Veon with his quickness, agility and coordination. I’ll be fine-tuning his football endurance as well as doing a lot of tempo runs.”
If Bell actually is in football shape when he finally arrives, Whitfield should be heralded as a miracle worker and fans are advised to prepare for another slow start to the season from the team’s star running back, just in case Whitfield cannot do the impossible.