When the Pittsburgh Steelers report to training camp on Monday, there may be no player expected to get off to a better start than rookie running back Le’Veon Bell.
It’s a lot to ask for a rookie to step right in and turn around an abysmal rushing attack from a season ago, but that is what kind of pressure is on the Michigan State products shoulders.
It’s also a lot to ask considering the fact that only one rookie running back in Steelers history (Franco Harris) has rushed for over 1,000 yards his first season in the league, but that’s the type of expectations that will be on Bell’s shoulders from the time he reports to Latrobe on Friday.
As it stands now, Bell won’t be given the starting job as both Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman surely have plans to earn the starting job. We also don’t know how much Bell will be given the ball when the Steelers open up the season September 8 against the Tennessee Titans.
But one thing is for sure and if the Steelers are to turn things around on the ground this season, it’s going to need to be a lot.
That’s all up to Bell though.
He will have the opportunity to turn a three-man camp battle into a one-man show if he comes out and shows the power, speed, durability and the ability to play on all three downs. That’s why the Steelers chose him in the second-round over some other backs on the board and that’s the skill set that Bell must bring to the table.
Beginning Friday Bell will have to begin separating himself from the likes of Dwyer ad Redman.
The expectations are very high coming into camp for this young man.
Starting Friday we will see if he can meet them.