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Yeremiah Bell retires after 11 NFL seasons

Bell Getty Images

Safety Yeremiah Bell wasn’t supposed to play in the NFL.  Instead, he made it, and he lasted for more than a decade.

Bell tells the Winchester (Ky.) Sun that it’s time to move on.

I’m done,” Bell said. “It’s not official because my agent hasn’t turned in the papers yet but within myself, I’ve played my career.”

Before nine seasons with the Dolphins (five as a starter), one with the Jets (where he started all 16 games), and a final year in Arizona (where he again started all 16 games), Bell was a guy with a pipe dream, working in a steel mill, watching the Eastern Kentucky coach’s weekly TV show, and telling colleagues and friends that he’d play for the team.

“He always talked about how he’d work his way through college and get to the pros,” Emery Crawford, a coworker at the mill, told the Cardinals’ website last year.  “Everybody just thought he was talking. . . . He’d say, ‘One of these days I’m going to make it to the big leagues.’  I said, ‘Son, I hope you do, but I’ve heard it before.’”

Persistence led to a workout.  Wearing borrowed cleats two sizes too big, Bell ran a 4.5-second 40-yard dash.  He made the team, secured a scholarship, and then ruptured a patellar tendon playing basketball before his senior year.

The Dolphins nevertheless took a sixth-round flyer on Bell.  The gamble paid off.  For the team and the player.

For Bell, it was about a lot more than luck.  It was about making a commitment to getting the most out of the intersection between his God-given abilities and his interests.  And that’s a great example for anyone who hesitates to put in the work necessary to maximize that potential.

Bell’s next challenge will be to get the most out of whatever teaching skills he has been given.

 “I want to coach the game when it’s still fun and the kids are still learning,” Bell told the Sun. “The kids are still raw and I can teach a lot of what I learned and just go out there and have fun with it. I just want to coach high school and give back some of the things I’ve learned.”
Whatever they learn directly from Bell, those kids will learn a lot by understanding his journey — and by resolving to emulate his work ethic and drive.
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20 Responses to “Yeremiah Bell retires after 11 NFL seasons”
  1. JackedUpSports says: Aug 10, 2014 1:10 PM

    classy guy. really solid player too. wish him the best

  2. posmoo says: Aug 10, 2014 1:12 PM

    classy guy. this is a man who deserves the ring of honor.

  3. mrozma says: Aug 10, 2014 1:22 PM

    Filth…

  4. p8riotdynastylives says: Aug 10, 2014 1:28 PM

    from a Patriots fan ……..he was a solid player who played some decent football…..average career is just under 3 years….he lasted 4 x that ……congrats to you and best of luck!!!

  5. thestrategyexpert says: Aug 10, 2014 1:30 PM

    He should easily be able to find a job then, there is always room for more good coaches to enter the market, and there’s a lot of young kids out there that could benefit from a good influence and his inspirational story of persistence is just that.

  6. idahonick says: Aug 10, 2014 1:36 PM

    LOL “god-given”

  7. spfripp says: Aug 10, 2014 1:39 PM

    Thank you Yeremiah for your hard work!

  8. abninf says: Aug 10, 2014 1:40 PM

    And he can tell his grandkids he intercepted a pass from Tom Brady.

  9. noleitup says: Aug 10, 2014 1:51 PM

    Man time flies. Cant believe this guy played for 11 seasons because it seems like it was a lot less.

  10. bassplucker says: Aug 10, 2014 2:04 PM

    Yumpin Yehosophat. That’s a good long career.

  11. irkjames says: Aug 10, 2014 2:14 PM

    Best of luck to Yeremiah moving forward. He gave Dolphins fans many quality years at the Strong Safety position. Hopefully one day he is inducted into Miami’s Ring of Honor. God knows he’s deserving of it!

  12. blacknole08 says: Aug 10, 2014 2:26 PM

    I thought he already retired earlier this off-season.

    Solid player. Best of luck!

  13. dnorman11 says: Aug 10, 2014 3:22 PM

    This man believed in himself despite no one else! A dream is nothing without belief!
    Wish him well in his second life.

  14. jc327 says: Aug 10, 2014 3:29 PM

    Great Dolphin for so many years. Good luck YB!!!!

  15. ncumpire51 says: Aug 10, 2014 3:42 PM

    As a dolphin fan since their inception in ’66 I hated to see him leave and go to the jets for he was one of the best to play the safety position, but would love to see him back in Miami’s Ring Of Honor.Good luck to you Jeremiah in whatever your next venture in life is.

  16. ncphinsfan says: Aug 10, 2014 3:45 PM

    Great Player. Dolphins leading tackler for a few of his many seasons. Good lockerroom leader (boy we could have used him recently). Class act, hard worker, a true role model. He will be in the Dolphins Ring of Honor for sure. Good Luck to you Sir!

  17. bleedrangerblue says: Aug 10, 2014 4:35 PM

    Who cares if your a Patriots fan (cheaters). You lose all credibility here…

  18. miamatt says: Aug 10, 2014 7:19 PM

    Tough and as reliable as they come. Not flashy or a spectacular playmaker, but he was a tackling machine and a solid blitzer.

    Bell played for six head coaches in Miami (including interims), even as the team was remade over and over.

    I didn’t realize he had played nine years in South Florida; Louis Delmas is just the latest player the Dolphins are trying to plug into the hole Yeremiah Bell left.

  19. Dolphinatic says: Aug 10, 2014 8:57 PM

    Best of luck to one of the great players and great all-around men! It was an honor to have you with the Dolphins all those years, and an honor to have you as a role model for our children, even as you move into the next phase of your life.

    This is what respect for your opportunities looks like. Some of the younger players could learn a lot from Bell’s story.

  20. phinfan says: Aug 12, 2014 7:44 PM

    Hard working guy on and off the field. I missed him in a fins uniform. Best of luck

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