The New York Jets are in great shape moving forward with LeVeon Bell at the helm:
While Isaiah Crowell presented a decent running back option in 2018 for the Jets, he doesn’t even compare to the talent they acquired in LeVeon Bell.
Despite the rumors that Adam Gase wasn’t interested in signing the star running back, his influence will be impactful, and he will elevate Sam Darnold’s numbers and success exponentially. Having a safety option like Bell in the backfield will give Darnold an extra progression in case his receivers are bottled up.
To give you some context:
Bell, who missed all of 2018 with a contract dispute, earned 1,291 rushing yards the year prior to go along with 655 receiving yards and 11 scores. As a dual-threat back, Gase will be able to open up his playbook and really exercise screens more effectively and efficiently. It will be interesting to see how Gase utilizes Bell’s unique skill-set and implements it on the offense.
Darnold commented on his abilities and how he is going to confuse defenses, according to ESPN:
“When he’s out there in the huddle, the defensive coordinator doesn’t know where he’s going to line up. He doesn’t know what’s coming his way. With Le’Veon out there, we’ve become a little more unpredictable, just because he’s such a great route runner. He’s not just running a ‘smoke,’ and he’s not just running 5-yard routes. He could run deep on you. He could run a slant … and score. There are a lot of different things he can do.”
That’s one of the more underrated aspects of Bell, he can run routes like a legitimate receiver — post routes, slants, etc. Unpredictability will be the word to use when it comes tot he Jets’ new running back – Gase said it himself:
“Is he going to be in the gun? Strong? Offset? Weak? Is he going to be under center [in the Wildcat]? Is he going to be split out wide? Is he going to be the single receiver? Is he going to be in empty? Is he going to be in the slot? There are five different spots he can go if we go empty.
I anticipate Bell not only being the leading rusher for the Jets but also their top receiver. Adding just Jamison Crowder in free agency to bolster their receiving corps simply isn’t enough to get the job done for Darnold. They still have Robby Anderson on the team but lost Jermaine Kearse – this unit surely needs a boost otherwise opposing defenses will look to scheme Bell out of the game.
Bell had Antonio Brown to help deter defenders from stacking the box against the running back in Pittsburgh.