Bell Believes His Approach Will Change NFL
Published on January 11 2017 6:15 am
Last Updated on January 11 2017 6:16 am
Le'Veon Bell believes his patient approach to playing running back will change the NFL similar to how Stephen Curry changed the way basketball is played in the NBA.
"I think I'm changing the game," the Pittsburgh Steelers running back told Bleacher Report. "In that sense, I'm what Steph Curry is to basketball. Don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily think Steph Curry is the best basketball player, but he changed the game so he's going to always go down as being remembered. Now, everyone wants to shoot the 3 and shoot it from deep."
Bell has a patient running style that requires his offensive linemen to hold their blocks before he attacks a hole, usually for a big gain. He said he expects young running backs to try to copy his style.
He recently described that style to ESPN's Jerome Bettis, telling the former Steelers great that he looks off linebackers to bait them into the gap he doesn't want to hit before cutting back.
"I watch the linebacker ... but I'm not going to look at him. I don't even want him to know I see him," Bell said.
Draymond Green, Curry's teammate on the Golden State Warriors, played pickup basketball with Bell when both were athletes at Michigan State. He believes Bell's comparison to Curry has merit.
"That patience he has as a runner has never been seen before," Green told Bleacher Report. "You had Barry Sanders, who shook you out of your socks. Quick as grease. You had 'the Bus' and his power running. You have super-fast runners. But a runner with the patience he has? I mean, I don't know if we've ever seen that. He's a special runner who's definitely transcending the game and it's fun to watch.
"No one else in the NFL runs like that, but I guarantee you, there will be some runners coming out -- and there's probably some in the NFL now -- that'll try to take on that technique."
Bill Musgrave Will Not Be Retained By Raiders
The Oakland Raiders finished the regular season with the No. 6-ranked total offense in the NFL and scored the seventh-most points in the league, as quarterback Derek Carr ascended into the NFL's MVP conversation before suffering a broken fibula in Week 16.
Despite the Raiders going 12-4, claiming a wild-card spot in their first playoff showing since 2002 and their oft-prolific showing when they had the ball, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave will not be retained after his contract expired, sources told ESPN's Adam Caplan, confirming an NFL.com report.
A source told Caplan that Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio told the rest of his staff Tuesday afternoon that quarterbacks coach Todd Downing has been promoted to offensive coordinator. Sources told ESPN that at least two head-coaching candidates were interested in Downing for their offensive coordinator vacancies. It is not known if Del Rio took that into consideration when deciding to promote Downing.
Del Rio, who also had Musgrave as his OC for with the Jaguars in 2003 and '04, was not afraid to criticize the offense this season. After a Week 14 loss at Kansas City, Del Rio said he wished he had seen more "big-boy ball" from the Raiders in terms of the running game.
Then, after a Week 16 regular-season finale loss at Denver that cost the Raiders an AFC West title and the No. 2 seed in the playoffs, Del Rio wondered why running back Latavius Murray had only five carries in that game. The Raiders had Matt McGloin and rookie Connor Cook under center that day.
Still, as explosive as the offense was late in games under Carr -- he had seven game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime this past season -- it was often slow starting. Critics also charged that if the Raiders got a lead, Musgrave would get too conservative.
ESPN's Caplan also confirmed an NFL.com report that Oakland will keep defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr. despite the team's No. 26-ranked total defense.