When it comes to the things he can fully control, Le’Veon Bell gets the job done at an elite level.
Running back is an incredibly difficult position to evaluate. Rushing production is so dependent on a number of factors that the back has no control over, particularly, the performances of the offensive line and the play-caller.
Le’Veon Bell‘s first season with the Jets was a disappointment due largely in part to the lack of support he received. The offensive line – terrible. Play-calling – questionable at best. Bell ranked 44th out of 45 qualifiers with an average of 3.2 yards per attempt in spite of his mostly-solid play as a ball-carrier. Gaining a league-worst 1.2 yards before contact per rush attempt, Bell had no shot of overcoming the hand he was dealt.
While producing as a rusher is a running back’s primary responsibility, there are a number of other ways the position impacts the game. A few of these areas are almost completely under the back’s own control.
It is his proficiency with the controllable skills where Bell makes it clear how excellent of an all-around football player he is. He performed at a tremendous level in those areas as a Steeler and carried that over to New York.
I took 45 running backs (100+ rushing attempts in 2019) and measured their ability to avoid three types of negative plays – drops, allowed pressures, and fumbles.
Few players were able to minimize those mistakes as well as Bell.