Le’Veon Bell taking the hits he needs in practice

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Jets running back Le'Veon Bell will not play in the preseason, after not playing at all last year. So when he takes the field in Week One, it will be the first full-contact action he’s had since the end of the 2017 season. But Bell says his teammates are hitting him just enough to get him accustomed to contact before the season.

In practice the Jets’ defenders don’t tackle their high-priced running back teammate like they would hit an opponent in a game, but Bell said he’ll run into them to initiate contact if necessary.

“I try to do that intentionally, just so I can feel it,” he said, via Rich Cimini of ESPN. “A lot of times you’ll start seeing guys get a little frustrated and they’ll try to hit me back — and that’s what I need. They won’t take me to the ground and they won’t go for my legs. Hitting me up top, things like that, I need all that.”

Bell said teammates are trying to strip the ball from him to remind him to hold it tight, and that’s close enough to get him ready.

“I know once I get to the game it’s going to be a little different, but that’s something I’ll adjust to,” he said. “I’ve been playing football my whole life.”

Bell hasn’t been playing football in the last year and a half, but he thinks he’ll be ready when he finally gets back on the field in Week One.

14 responses to “Le’Veon Bell taking the hits he needs in practice

  1. Should be a great exercise in seeing what’s more detrimental to a running back’s career, time or usage.

    He plays at a position that has the shortest lifespan of any NFL position. One that gets used up and spat out on a regular basis and the very best ones rarely see an opportunity to cash in on the high-dollar paydays like their contemporaries at other positions. I think that while a very tough decision his sitting out an entire year may change the way that the league deals with the position going forward.

  2. I really can’t stand the Steelers but I will admit between Antonio Brown and Bell I have a small amount of sympathy for them with what they must have had to deal with over the last few years. Yes only a small amount but some sympathy none the less.

  3. “He plays at a position that has the shortest lifespan of any NFL position. One that gets used up and spat out on a regular basis and the very best ones rarely see an opportunity to cash in on the high-dollar paydays like their contemporaries at other positions.”

    I don’t understand this sentiment. Offensive lineman get hit on every play and don’t often get a big payday (or endorsement income) compared to skill positions. How is this any less fair than how running backs are now handled? Running backs used to be more valuable in the game and got better paydays. It’s always been supply and demand,this is why QB’s make crazy money. With the rule changes, it’s a passing league now and RB’s have less leverage. I don’t think Bell’s situation is going to change that.

  4. “his sitting out an entire year may change the way that the league deals with the position going forward.”
    _________________

    Let’s say he plays absolutely great this season. How exactly would that change anything? No team is going to announce “We’re throwing in the towel before this season even begins and sitting our starting RB all season in the anticipation he’ll be extra-ready for next year.” You think coaches and GMs would risk their jobs trying that? You think owners would want to pay guys to sit? How do you imagine fans would react? Would you be interested in attending games knowing that’s how your team was approaching the year?

  5. richc111 says:
    August 22, 2019 at 8:49 am
    I really can’t stand the Steelers but I will admit between Antonio Brown and Bell I have a small amount of sympathy for them with what they must have had to deal with over the last few years. Yes only a small amount but some sympathy none the less.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    They just extended Trippy, so how can they possibly deserve any sympathy?

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