Going into the 2016 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers know they have a special team. With the many weapons they possess on both sides of the football, there is one piece that must stay consistent. That piece is Le’Veon Bell. Those who follow Bell closely know he has rough injury history but when healthy, he is a top 10 player in the league. Despite the naysayers, Bell will still play a huge role in the Steelers potential post-season run.
Coming into the 2016 season, the Steelers are set to have on of the best offenses in the league. There “Big 3” that help spearhead everything, consist of Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and of course Le’Veon Bell. Without Bell, who only played in six games last year, the Steelers relied on veteran DeAngelo Williams to carry the load. Williams did a magnificent job as the number two back running for almost 1,000 yards last season. The Steelers were 7-3 in games without Bell.
Despite the success of Williams, Bell provides more elusiveness and versatility on the field. In 2014 he ran for 1,361 yards and had 854 receiving yards as well. He will get close to those numbers because the Steelers will be with out there number two receiver Martavis Bryant. That will allow them to utilize Bell more despite getting a lot attention from defenses. Last season he was still able to average 92.7 yards per game in only six games for an offense that accumulated over 6,000 yards of total offense. With Bell active, they are certain to go over that mark.
Another aspect that will keep Bell’s production up to afloat will be the improved offensive line. Lead by All-Pro Center Maurkice Pouncey, the Steelers have the sixth largest offensive line averaging 319.6 pounds. Add veterans Marcus Gilbert and David DeCastro, the run game will play a huge part in opening holes for Bell who might be the most patient back in the league.
With Ben Roethlisberger stating they plan to go for two points after every touchdown, being effective in the red zone will always be key for the Steelers. In 2014, Le’Veon Bell scored nine out of his eleven touchdowns in the red zone including three receiving touchdowns. He is a reliable threat despite the aerial attack Pittsburgh can put on defenses.
With reports that Bell’s rehab is going well, his motivation to prove the doubters wrong will be at and all-time high. Injuries have hurt him since his rookie year but Bell’s determination and grit will help lead the Steelers to great heights.