People do change. They also stay the same. So it goes with the Le’Veon Bell Andy Reid saga. Andy Reid has spent his career making a name as a “players coach” and offensive genius. His schemes have changed the league. When Bell signed with the Chiefs midseason last year, it was seen by many (me included) as a great fit for the versatile RB. Le’Veon Bell has spent his entire career excelling at two things. Making music with the rock in his hands and being a prima donna. At 29 years of age Bell still looks the part, but the guy who won many a fantasy football season for players is gone. Yet it seems Le’Veon may still have the prima donna thing down pat.
“I’ll never play for Andy Reid again,” Bell wrote. “I’d retire first.”Le’Veon Bell on Instagram
Being the best RB in the league is not just about talent. It’s about opportunity. Do you think Emmitt Smith would have the mosts yards in the history of the NFL if he had not had that incredible offensive line to run behind? Of couse not. The player, the team, the head coach, the scheme, the offensive coordinators, the owner all came toether in a great fit for Emmitt Smith to do what he did. Bell found that out after getting his contract but having to play in New York for the hapless Jets. No matter how much talent Bell was bringing to the field his production while with the Jets absolutly sucked. And yes, that is being polite about it.
In his year and 1/2 playing for the Jets, Bell delivered 863 yards on the ground, 3 rushing, and 1 receiving touchdown at a 3.3 yards-per-carry clip. I did say “sucked.”
The offensive line was horrible, the QB so-so, and that was the good news. After a stellar career in Pittsburgh, The New York version of Bell was a disaster. The contact squabbles with the Steelers have been well documented. Suffice to say Bell earned his contract. He just hasn’t lived up to it.
Andy Reid was savvy enough to do two things. First, sign a versatile, veteran player for peanuts on the dollar for an “open in case of emergency” situation that never occurred. Second to walk away from the deal the moment it was over and never look back. Le’Veon Bell is not a “team” guy. Reid knows what it takes to win in the NFL. He did the math. So did Bell.
It is what it is. Bell is burning bridges in an NFL that doesn’t value the RB position nearly as much as it did a decade ago. Bell can still play and he will find a home this season somewhere in the NFL, but it won’t be in Pittsburgh. It won’t be with the Jets nor will it be in Kansas City. It also won’t be with a team that is going to build their scheme around the talented RB. His age and track record take that off the table I don’t think Bell has played his last down in the NFL, but he has played his last down as a player a team focuses their scheme on. Bell has made certain of that.
Talent and opportunity. What a pair.
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on Twitter: Steven Van Over