The New York Jets have a new star in running back Le’Veon Bell, but his style is forcing Gang Green offensive lineman to adjust their blocking approach.
When the New York Jets broke the bank to sign star running back Le’Veon Bell this offseason, they knew they were getting one of the most versatile, explosive offensive weapons in the entire NFL.
They’re also getting a back known for his rare patience, a willingness to seemingly float around in the backfield as he waits for the right crease to explode through.
That style of running is forcing the Jets’ offensive line to step up their game, as well, says veteran guard Brian Winters (via team senior reporter Eric Allen):
That’s a whole different style for us. His patience is obviously huge. It’s one of those things where you have to stay on your blocks longer. With him, Bilal and the other guys in the backfield, it’s going to be dangerous.
As Winters mentioned, the Jets do have an incredible deep backfield even beyond Bell. Ty Montgomery is another versatile veteran who was signed this offseason, and combined with the return of Bilal Powell and the presence of a young talent in Elijah McGuire, New York is loaded with talent at running back this season.
But while those other backs bring their own talents to the table, none of them run with the particular style Bell has become known for. It may be challenging for the Gang Green blockers in the short-term, but learning to hold blocks for longer periods of time should pay off big-time when they’re happening in real games, instead of just training camp practices.