Le'Veon Bell on 2019: 'I wasn't my best last year'
Le’Veon Bell isn’t pointing fingers at anyone else for a 2019 season that was statistically one of the most disappointing of his NFL career. But, he’s saying to expect better this year.
Expectations were high for Bell last year following a free agent deal with the New York Jets that made a splash, a four-year $52.5 million contract that included $35 million in guaranteed money. Instead of putting up star numbers in New York, however, Bell had some of the lowest rushing totals of his NFL career. The three-time Pro Bowl selection and twice All-Pro had plenty of reasons for the underwhelming output.
An offensive line that was among the worst in football surely didn’t help open running lanes for Bell. Nor did a passing offense that struggled for the first half of the season to provide any type of balance or take pressure off the running backs. Opposing defenses keyed in on Bell and it worked.
Those are two legitimate excuses but Bell isn’t pushing them forward. Instead of pointing out flaws, he’s pointing the finger back at himself.
“Damn, I could be better, like, I wasn’t my best last year. I wasn’t the best me. I know physically I wasn’t 2014, 2015 me. So if I can look at myself in the eyes and be like damn everyone is talking about the OLine and me not getting the ball,” Bell told Hot 97.
“But then Le’Veon were you the best, were you the best you that you could possible be? I can literally look at myself and say ‘Nope, no I wasn’t.’ When I come back this year, I made sure that I understood that.”
He added that “I worked hard, don’t get me wrong” but underscores that he wants to take his preparation up a notch ahead of the 2020 season.
In 2019, Bell had the lowest yards per attempt (3.2), yards per game (52.6) and rushing touchdown (three) s in any season where he played at least 12 games.