Le’Veon Bell spoke for the first time since being released by the New York Jets last week. The former All-Pro running back was diplomatic in his answers about his old team, but there were some clear-cut differences being made between the winless Jets that he left and the defending Super Bowl Champions he joined just days later.
Differences that were impossible to ignore.
Bell signed with the Kansas City Chiefs late last week.
“Obviously coming here, getting on a great team, a great coaching staff, just kind of re-invent myself,” Bell told reporters on Wednesday.
“I played at a high level for so long. I had a year, two years where it had not been at a high level, people kind look at it like that. I wanted to get here, get my feet back under me, get in a good offense, get the ball when I can, in space. Not have too much pressure on me. Just play football. Go out there and just play football, that’s really what I want to do. Coming here is going to give me the opportunity to do that.
“I don’t have to worry about how many times I’m touching it, and when I do, go out there and make plays.
Bell signed a four-year, $52.5 million contract last offseason but had a disappointing season-plus with the Jets. Last year, his 3.2 yards per carry were the lowest of his career.
It surely didn’t help matters that he not only played behind a terrible offensive line but he also was misused in the offense. He rarely seemed a focal point of the offense despite being twice an All-Pro in his previous five seasons in the league.
Now with the Chiefs, as dominant of an offense as there is in the NFL, Bell won’t have the burden of carrying the team. For an offense under head coach Andy Reid that likes to use its running backs, Bell’s ability to flash out of the backfield could be ideal.
When asked about why it didn’t work out with the Jets, Bell didn’t throw his old team under the bus or offer and criticisms.
“There’s not too much I can about as to why it didn’t work in New York. It just didn’t work out. The fact that it didn’t, it kind of led me to the position I am here, today,” Bell said.
“Once I had the opportunity when I was a free agent, talking with coach Reid, over that course, it was just undeniable to try and come here, help this team – any ways I can help them out. The opportunity to play with coach Reid is going to be magnificent for me. Playing with these players around– Pat Mahomes -I’ve never played with a player MVP-wise. It’s going to be fun. There’s going to be a lot of weapons. It’s going to be fun for me.”