Kinkhabwala: Pairing up in Pittsburgh
After a rocky first season together, Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley are starting to gel, Aditi Kinkhabwala reports. **More ...**
The Steelers announced Monday the signing of Bell to a four-year contract, leaving the former Michigan State star free from worry about missing practice this summer.
As a physical, all-purpose back with nimble feet and soft hands, Bell is a good bet to lead all NFL rookies in touches this season. Some observers even are predicting 300 touches for Bell in a workhorse role.
Even if Bell puts a stranglehold on the Steelers' starting job this summer, he's going to be challenged to live up to the post-draft hype. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley credits Bell with having physical traits similar to Eddie George. ESPN's John Clayton has noted the Steelers believe they have "the next version of Matt Forte" with their rookie.
Similar to previous Steelers feature backs, Bell lacks big-play ability but is capable of moving the chains, sustaining a rushing attack throughout the game and salting away a lead in the fourth quarter. He should prove to be an upgrade on last season's ground "attack," led by Redman and Dwyer, that managed a paltry 96.1 yards per game and 3.7 yards per carry last season.