On Wednesday Kansas City Chiefs running back Le’Veon Bell held his first press conference with the media in Kansas City. It’s hard to believe it was only a week-and-a-half ago that Bell refused to speak with the New York media after his team’s blowout loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Shortly afterwards he was released by the Jets after a failed attempt to trade him, and then came a very public dalliance in free agency in which he flirted with Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, among others.
Asked on Wednesday why his time in New York was unsuccessful, Bell didn’t have much to offer, but he seems convinced that Kansas City is the right place for him to be.
“There’s not too much I can say as to why it didn’t work in New York, it just didn’t work out,” said the 28-year-old RB, who also played for the Pittsburgh Steelers for five seasons after Pittsburgh made him the team’s second-round draft pick (#48 overall) in 2013.
“The fact that it didn’t kinda led me to the position I am here today,” he added. “When I had the opportunity, once I was a free agent, talking to coach [Andy] Reid … it was just undeniable to try to come here and help this team any way I can help them out.”
Le’Veon Bell on Playing with Patrick Mahomes
It seems part of Bell’s rationale for coming to Kansas City was the opportunity to play with a host of other great skill players.
“Patty Mahomes, I never played with a player MVP-wise,” he stated, referring to the fact that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 2018 when he threw for 5,017 yards and 50 touchdown passes against only 12 interceptions.
It doesn’t hurt that Bell left behind the worst team in the NFL for the defending Super Bowl champions—a 5-1 team with a legitimate chance to repeat, thanks in large part to the team’s weapons on offense, which include tight end Travis Kelce and wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins, not to mention 2020 first-round running back Clyde Edwards-Hellaire.
It also doesn’t hurt that Bell now has money coming to him from both the Jets and Chiefs, and will become an unrestricted free agent again after this season.
“It’s going to be fun—a lot of weapons. It’s going to be fun for me,” insisted Bell on Wednesday, even if he has to take on a smaller role than he had in New York or Pittsburgh.
“Yeah, when I decided to come here I already knew all the weapons and there is only one football to go around,” he added. “The time where I do get my opportunity—I think there is going to be a lot of opportunity to show what I can do in space, running routes. I think this offense is really a fit for my skill set. I think coach Reid does a good job of getting the ball to backs in space and I’m glad I got this opportunity.”
Le’Veon Bell’s Debut Coming Against a Division Rival
Bell is set to make his debut with the Chiefs on Sunday against the Denver Broncos, after which he will have the opportunity to go against the Jets when New York visits Arrowhead Stadium on November 1.
Bell says he doesn’t feel a lot of pressure coming into his new situation. In fact, he feels a sense of “relief,” saying, “I played at a high level for so long. I had two years [with the Jets] where it has not been at a high level and people kind of look at it like that. So I wanted to get here, get my feet back under me, get in a good offense, get the ball when I can—not have too much pressure on me.”
To date, Bell has played in 79 NFL games and has 1,493 career carries for 6,199 rushing yards and 38 touchdowns. He has also caught 381 passes for 3,160 yards and eight receiving touchdowns.
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