By UPI |
Jets coach Adam Gase having 'fun' watching Le'Veon Bell highlights
March 25 (UPI) -- New York Jets coach Adam Gase says it has been fun to watch Le'Veon Bell's film, knowing he will be able to use the running back in his offense this season.
The NFC East franchise signed Bell to a four-year, $52.5 million deal earlier this month after he played the first five seasons of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bell sat out the 2018 season after declining to sign his franchise tag tenure.
He is widely-regarded as one of the most dynamic running backs in the NFL, who is able to be lined up in the backfield or at wide receiver.
"I love his variety," Gase told NFL Network at the NFL's annual meeting. "I love that he could do everything. And I think the more film I watch since we've signed him, I think I tried not to tease myself too much by watching too much film."
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"But since we have signed him, I've just amped it up and trying to figure out what has he done in Pittsburgh? You know, how far can we take him? What can we do in the passing game? What do we have to make sure we do right with him in the running game? How do we kind of build this thing around Sam [Darnold], him and some of the other pieces that we have? So you know, it's been fun to watch, really go back and watch what he's done in the past."
Bell, 27, led the NFL with 321 carries and 406 touches in 15 starts during his 2017 campaign. The two-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowl selection has three seasons with at least 1,800 yards from scrimmage.
Bell had a career-high 2,215 yards from scrimmage and 11 touchdowns in 16 starts during his 2014 campaign.
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Gase also didn't seem concerned with the fact that Bell missed the entire 2018 season. He said he could tell Bell was "ready to go" when he walked into the team facility.
Bell told the Jets website he wants to be Darnold's safety blanket.
"The only thing I'd really do for Sam right now is really try to be his blanket, take him under my wing and pick his mind a little bit to see what he likes to do or what he's comfortable with," Bell said.
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"I've been in the league a little longer, so I feel like I can adjust a little better and make his job easier. I'm just going to do everything in my power to make his job as easy as possible."
The Jets ranked 26th in rushing in 2018. Pittsburgh ranked No. 20 in rushing yards in 2017, No. 14 in 2016, No. 6 in 2015, No. 16 in 2014 and No. 27 during Bell's rookie campaign in 2013.
The Jets haven't ranked inside the top-6 in rushing since finishing with the third-most rushing yards in the NFL during the 2014 season, behind Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson.