Jets star running back Le'Veon Bell has gotten off to a slow start in his first season with the team, but that hasn't stopped him from setting a good example to teammates and coaches.
The 27-year-old Bell signed a four-year, $52.5 million deal with the Jets in March after sitting out the 2018 season amid contract disputes with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bell played for the Steelers from 2013-2017 and had 5,336 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns in 62 games. He was voted First-Team All-Pro in 2014 and 2017, in addition to earning three Pro Bowl selections (2014, 2016, 2017).
In just five games with the Jets this season, he has 85 rushes for 256 yards and only one touchdown. Bell has been known for also being one of the best pass-catching running backs in the NFL, yet he only has 28 receptions for 169 yards and one touchdown with the Jets. That's not entirely his fault though, as quarterback Sam Darnold missed three games with mono.
Despite the statistics and the Jets' 1-4 record, Bell comes to practice everyday and sets an example.
"I definitely try to practice my tail off," Bell said in an interview with the NY Post. "I always practice like that, even when I was a rookie and nobody was looking at me. Now that I know people are watching, I have to show this is the way you're supposed to practice."
The Jets got their first win of the season in Week 6 against the Dallas Cowboys, winning 24-22, as Darnold returned for the first time since Week 1. Bell had 14 carries for 50 yards and a touchdown, to go along with one catch for three yards in the win.
Those numbers still aren't eye popping, or what the Jets may have expected from Bell, but his attitude makes up for it.
"He's great during games, he's unbelievable during practice," head coach Adam Gase said. "He's probably one of the most positive, energetic guys we have in this building. He's the one talking... He's setting the right example for everybody else."
The Jets now have their biggest test of the season against the undefeated New England Patriots on Monday Night Football in Week 7.
In four career regular season games against the Patriots, Bell has 79 carries for 307 yards and one touchdown, in addition to 23 catches for 209 yards. He's yet to beat the Pats in his career, but sounds focused on the prime time matchup on Monday night.
"We have a great opportunity to shock the world," Bell said.