Saturday, October 16, 2021

‘Tough’ days after Jets split set up Le’Veon Bell’s path to Super Bowl 2021

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Le’Veon Bell’s season began with injuries and clashes with coach Adam Gase as a member of the Jets. It is ending in Super Bowl 2021 as a member of the Chiefs.

Bell is a role player for Kansas City, but the 28-year-old running back said he’s happy with his new team and excited to play in his first Super Bowl.

“It’s been an interesting season to say the least for me, one of my more intriguing seasons,” Bell said Tuesday. “When I first started the season off, I was with New York and I was kind of fighting an uphill battle with everything that was going on over there. It didn’t work out for whatever reason. I ended up coming over here and the first day I came over here, I loved it right away.

“I’m just happy with where I’m at and I’m happy with the way the season went. We’ve just got to cap it off with a Super Bowl win.”

Bell had a rocky 1 ½ years with the Jets after signing a four-year, $52.5 million free-agent contract in March 2019. He never clicked with Gase, who was opposed to his signing, and struggled to find the production that made him a star with the Steelers.

Le’Veon Bell scores a touchdown against the Saints.AP Photo

He played in just two of the Jets’ first five games this season because of a hamstring injury. After a Week 5 loss to the Cardinals when he had 13 carries for 60 yards, Bell asked to be traded. The Jets could not find a trade partner, but cut him and ate the $6 million they still owed him. He signed with the Chiefs a few days later, choosing Kansas City over the Bills and Dolphins.

“It was one of the toughest decisions,” Bell said. “Those two days were a real tough two days for me. I made the decision to come here, to play with a lot of great players and coach Andy Reid. It probably was tougher than my free-agency decision, for real. I made the decision to come here and I’m happy with where I’m at. We’re playing in the Super Bowl.”

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Bell has had to adjust to being a role player in Kansas City. He has had double-digit carries just twice for the Chiefs this season, playing behind rookie starter Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

“It’s different,” Bell said. “I think my whole career I’ve kind of been the guy and maybe spelled every now and then. This year has been the first time I’ve ever been part of a running back committee thing. It’s been different. It’s been something I’ve adjusted to. I think it’s going to help me out to elongate my career. I might not get the ball 25 times a game. It’s going to help me play longer. I like it. Every time I get a chance to go into the game, I’m fresh.”

Bell said he stays in touch with some of his former Jets teammates and wishes them the best.

“They’ve got a new coach so things might change over there,” Bell said. “I guess time will tell.” 

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