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 Post subject: Re: Leveon Bell is a real problem for the offense
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:04 am 
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It's also possible Bell is trying too hard. Too patient, and waiting too long for the big hole. But it's no doubt players and coaches have figured out the way to play him is to be more patient. Wait for him to make his move and attack instead of attacking a gap and watching him blow past you in another. Defensive lines are clogging up lanes and he has nowhere to go. But I do think he's lost a step, and the O line isn't playing well. Combo of all the above = shitty RB play.


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 Post subject: Re: Leveon Bell is a real problem for the offense
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:07 am 
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I'd go along with the protecting himself thing but he's slower than he was and I don't think that is protecting him. He's getting dragged down by back side pursuit. He's not able to get the edge in places where he really should.

IOW he's not helping himself either from an injury avoidance perspective or from a new contract perspective.

That leaves either he still has rust or more ominously he's permanently lost some burst.

Plus it's always the case that a defense can always scheme to shut down one player.

When I see this offense struggling it seems plane to me that they need to get the role players more involved. That's juju, McDonald, yeah even Conner and Watson. There are other places to go with the ball and Ben and Haley are not doing a good job getting it to those other players

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 Post subject: Re: Leveon Bell is a real problem for the offense
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:18 am 
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COR-TEN wrote:
It's also possible Bell is trying too hard. Too patient, and waiting too long for the big hole. But it's no doubt players and coaches have figured out the way to play him is to be more patient. Wait for him to make his move and attack instead of attacking a gap and watching him blow past you in another. Defensive lines are clogging up lanes and he has nowhere to go. But I do think he's lost a step, and the O line isn't playing well. Combo of all the above = shitty RB play.


I've wondered if it was because teams are learning how to play him, but the more i see of him this year I have my doubts. When the hole is there, he just doesn't look the same. I also think he is working back into football shape. To me, he has looked a little better each week. Time will tell.

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 Post subject: Re: Leveon Bell is a real problem for the offense
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:45 pm 
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Bell has never been a fast running back but he definitely just looks slow this season. No explosiveness, hopefully that changes as the season goes on. But.....what if it continues all season? Without a solid run game we are screwed.

I am a big Penn State fan as well, if the Steelers could land Saquon Barkley in the draft how awesome would that be? No sense paying Bell the kind of money he wants if his performance doesn't improve this season.

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 Post subject: Re: Leveon Bell is a real problem for the offense
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:20 am 
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The biggest problem for this offense is that the Leveon Bell that was this great WR has disappeared. To hear Bell talk, his prowess as a pass catcher is equal to that of a #2 WR which is why he deserves to be paid $15-17 million a year.

Don't just look at the 3 games this year, look at the 3 playoff games, look at the last two regular season games from 2016. 8 games is half a season right? That is not just a small sample size, that to me is a pretty good indicator of how much he has slipped as a pass catcher.

So, what HAS he done as a pass catcher in his last 8 games played?

25 catches, for 112 yards, a paltry 4.5 yards per catch and 1 TD. That is deserving of #2 WR money? Really?

The biggest problem is that for whatever reason, the Leveon Bell that played like Marshall Faulk and truly did run routes and make plays like a WR has disappeared. And yet we continue to bang our head against the brick wall and run empty sets with Bell lined up as a WR, or have him so involved in the passing game, period.

I heard so many arguments of why you can't take Bell off the field for 4 WR or 5 WR sets, that he is too good as a pass catcher.

4.5 yards per reception is good?

Better to have Watson or Connor in there for pass protection and go with Bryant, Hunter, JuJu and Brown as the 4 wides. Bell just simply is not the same player as a pass catcher, he is more plodding, slower, easily covered.

This is a bitter pill for some to swallow, but this Bell has been on display for the past 8 games not just the last 3 games. I am so thankful that Bell declined to sign the Steelers $60 million contract. Can you imagine what this place would be like if had signed for $60 million and was performing like this?

And it goes without saying that my idea of using him as trade bait to move up for a QB next year is all but null and void. At this point I think we will be lucky to watch him leave in free agency and get a 3rd round comp pick, but only if he can stay healthy and perform, which is a dicey proposition.

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 Post subject: Re: Leveon Bell is a real problem for the offense
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:59 am 
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Not only do the Steelers need to find Ben replacement but Bell


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 Post subject: Re: Leveon Bell is a real problem for the offense
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:34 am 
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It's interesting about Bell's receiving numbers the past 8 games.

My question: is he being used differently, is he just not getting the job done, or is this also Ben's fault (it's interesting how Bell has become a pariah after turning down big money)?

As for not taking him off the field....he's very good in pass pro, and makes for a nice outlet option. I wonder if he's being utilized much more that way, which partially explains the dropoff in receiving production (but there's really no explaining 4.5 yds per catch). Would be another thing to isolate on the all-22. It doesn't seem like they are using him like a Marshall Faulk, any more.

I'd also point out all the "new things" they were putting in that Ben was irked that Bell was missing out on. 3 games in, if they are doing anything new I haven't seen it. Or if they are, it's been a complete abortion.

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 Post subject: Re: Leveon Bell is a real problem for the offense
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:55 am 
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So Kodiak, are you implying the Steelers are purposely miss casting Bell in unimaginative roles as a means to decrease is value on tape? Why would they do that when winning a Super Bowl is so much more important than any individual player? That would mean that they've already written Bell off and expect to allow him to walk in the next off season. I can understand it being possible but I highly doubt they'd shoot themselves in the foot just to sabotage one player's career. I think Bell's issues are he missed all the training with his offense. I think the OLine is playing less effectively than they were last season. Now, I agree the receiving numbers are down..., no debate. Didn't everyone here snap last season as the braintrust decidedly used Bell more as a traditional back instead of a receiving back? Running Bell like they did Bettis was the main complaint this board had towards the end of the season including the playoffs. That said there certainly is a lot to consider information wise but I do not believe the Steelers are purposely miss casting Bell. I do not believe Bell is saving himself. Neither makes business sense to me. I think Bell is out of his offensive groove because he missed so much prep time coming into the season. I think the offense themselves without Bell are out of their groove as proven in the first 3 games. OLine not able to play as well as we've seen them play. Ben wildly off, inaccurate and forcing passes in risky situations. Play calling below the line, if you will and Injuries. The bright side is there's still time to fix this.

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 Post subject: Re: Leveon Bell is a real problem for the offense
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:37 am 
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One of reasons bells receiving yards were high last year is steelers were down at least two wide outs. Now bell can really catch but he was being used more as a depth wr because that's what he was. A better option than an ayers or even DHB.

I don't totally buy the ulterior motive either. It's really in everyone's best interest if bell has monster games.

Only downside to that is I agree that Haley has a tendency to get super unimaginative so if bell does go out with injury the O is unprepared. We saw that two seasons in a row

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 Post subject: Re: Leveon Bell is a real problem for the offense
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:38 am 
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All if and buts, but I wonder how Deangelo Williams would have done these past 3 games?

In 2015, after 2 games Williams was among the NFL leaders in rushing, Bell came back for that 3rd game but still, Deangelo had 204 yards rushing and 3 TDs in those first 2 games. In 2016, Williams had 237 yard rushing and 10 receptions and 3 overall TDs in those first two games.

Right from the first snap, Williams and the offense line, and the offense as a whole was ready to play.

Now, in 2017, we have to make excuses for Bell, and the O-line and Ben, all needing time to get up to speed, not ready yet, blah, blah, blah.

When I did my comparison of Bell and Williams as starters in this offense over the past two seasons, it was real interesting to me how the offense scored more points per game with Williams as the starter, was more productive with Williams as the starter. Why was that? Many pointed out that I was unfair to Bell, he did not have Bryant, played some games with Jones and Vick, etc. Well, Bell has Bryant and Ben and the offense is averaging what, 19 points a game if you subtract that special teams touchdown?

Again, why does this offense underperform with Bell as the RB? Why are we scoring 18 points in a playoff game?

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