Believe it or not, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are exactly 30 days out from reporting to their 51st training camp at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. For the third consecutive year, we will be doing our daily scenarios series to help pass the time.
If you are new to the series, we create a hypothetical situation, explain why it will happen, and why it won't. Readers typically put their two cents into the comments below, which makes it even more fun. Let's begin the march to training camp!
Scenario: Le'Veon Bell gains over 2,000 all purpose yards in 2016.
Why it will happen:
With the knee injury which ended his 2015 season, almost before it got started, fans might forget just how dominant, and complete, Bell is as a running back. He has the burst to break off big runs, power to be the short-yardage back, vision to see cut back lanes and his receiving skills at the position are second-to-none.
Bell will return to being a main cog in the Steelers' offense in 2016, just as he was in 2014. In 2014, Bell gained 2,215 yards from scrimmage (1,361 rushing and 854 receiving). In 2015, despite only playing in 6 games (none with Ben Roethlisberger), he was able to gain 692 yards (556 rushing and 136 receiving).
Everyone knows when Roethlisberger and Bell are on the field together, they always seem to find one another when things break down. In this high powered Steelers offense, Bell shouldn't have any problems eclipsing 2,000 all-purpose yards, if he stays healthy.
Why it won't happen:
Like how I just threw "if he stays healthy" in there at the end? As if it was just a small part of the equation, but everyone knows this might be the biggest factor in this equation. His knee issues, dating back to 2014, are well documented, but there are other forces at work in this scenario possibly being foiled too.
The other main key? There simply aren't enough footballs to go around to all the weapons this Pittsburgh offense possesses in 2016. Sure, Bell plays a position which certainly will be guaranteed a certain amount of touches, but Antonio Brown, DeAngelo Williams, Ladarius Green, Markus Wheaton, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Sammie Coates will all take footballs away from Bell; therefore, possibly hurting his chances at going over the 2,000 yard mark.
For those who have followed the site, and our podcast series 'The Standard is the Standard', know I am a huge fan of Bell. I try not to let personal feelings invade my writing, but in this case it seems obvious. If Bell is healthy after his knee injury last season, and he remains healthy throughout the 2016 season, there is no doubt in my mind he will return to his 2014 form, and break the 2,000 all-purpose yard mark this season. He is too dynamic as both a pass catcher and ball carrier not to think he won't continue to cause major headaches, and mismatches, for opposing defenses next season.