During New York Jets head coach Adam Gase‘s press conference on Wednesday, he revealed that he plans to give running back Le’Veon Bell more touches on offense in 2020. Gase also mentioned he will try to utilize Bell better and line him up at multiple positions.
This statement contradicts an earlier report in the off-season stating that the Jets would try to lighten the workload for Bell.
2019 Statistical Recap
If the Jets want to get the most out of their former All-Pro running back, head coach Adam Gase will need to get him going.
Bell saw a lot of touches in the 2019 season for the Jets, being the lead back. Unfortunately, Bell had his worst season as a pro last season. In 15 games for the Jets, Le’Veon Bell rushed for 789 yards on 245 attempts, rushing for 3 touchdowns and averaging 3.2 yards per carry. In the passing game, Bell also caught 66 receptions for 461 yards for one touchdown.
LeVeon Bell’s Poor Use
Bell was brought into a bad situation in 2o19. Reports were surfacing that head coach Adam Gase never wanted to sign Le’Veon Bell. Bell ran behind arguably the NFL’s second-worst offensive line. Under those circumstances, Gase also underutilized Bell.
For a majority of the season, Bell ran up the middle into the A-gap, usually into a loaded 8-men box. Most of the time this occurred during Weeks 3 and 4 when starting quarterback Sam Darnold was out with mononucleosis. Le’Veon Bell never ran outside enough. Bell was only used as a slot receiver 8% percent of the 77% snaps he saw on offense. In his previous days in Pittsburgh, he was used as a slot receiver in 12% of snaps taken.
You could use the Jets weak pass protection as a reason why Bell wasn’t utilized in the slot enough. On passing downs, Bell was a blocker in the backfield for most of the time.
In Gase’s outside zone scheme, the running back runs the ball outside the offensive tackles.
Bell Is Out To Prove Everyone Wrong
After a disappointing season from the 3x Pro-Bowler, Le’Veon Bell is out to shut down his critics. Reports emerged that Le’Veon Bell showed up to training camp out of shape. A report said he weighed 260 pounds. Some say Bell lost a step after sitting out 2018.
Bell is in the best shape of his career now. He cut his weight down to 210-215 pounds. This is a benchmark he hasn’t been around since his high school days. As a matter of fact, Le’Veon Bell has cut his body fat to 4%. The league average for running backs is 8-12%.
If head coach Adam Gase wants to improve the offense, he’ll need to start by utilizing Le’Veon Bell better. Especially, when Bell is in the best shape of his life.