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Jets may look to lighten the load on Le'Veon Bell - Adam Gase

  • Le'Veon Bell posted the lowest yards-per-carry average of his career in 2019, and the Jets are out to make his life easier.
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Modified 04 May 2020, 20:00 IST
LeVeonBell-cropped
New York Jets star Le'Veon Bell

Adam Gase is hopeful a lighter workload for Le'Veon Bell and an increased threat from the wide receivers can help the running back enjoy a successful second season with the New York Jets.

Having held out in 2018 in search of a new contract from the Pittsburgh Steelers that never came, Bell signed with the Jets last offseason.

However, the three-time Pro Bowler’s maiden campaign with the Jets proved a disappointment.

Bell averaged just 3.2 yards per carry, the lowest mark of his career, as the Jets finished 7-9 in Gase's first season as head coach, missing the playoffs for the ninth consecutive year.

The Jets selected Lamical Perine out of Florida in the fourth round of the draft and also have Josh Adams and Kenneth Dixon as viable reserve options at running back.

Indicating he may make greater use of that depth to aid Bell, Gase told ESPN's Flight Deck podcast: "I do think we have some guys that can help maybe lessen the load on [Bell] to where it's not all on him.

"Hopefully, we can get some of the younger backs to where we can make a good one-two punch to where we can really excel instead of feeling like it's just all on him all the time."

Jets general manager Joe Douglas made moves to improve the offensive line and Gase believes those additions, plus the acquisitions of two talented downfield receivers in Breshad Perriman and second-round rookie Denzel Mims, can also make Bell's life easier.

"If you have the vertical threats like I think we're going to have with the wide receivers now, hey, maybe we'll start seeing two-high zone [coverage] instead of them just focusing on one guy in the receiving corps," Gase added.

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"You've got [tight end] Chris Herndon back. You've got [tight end] Ryan Griffin. You've got some guys who can do some different things there and stretch the field vertically.

"That was something Chris was really good at. Now, all of a sudden, Le'Veon is seeing lighter boxes, which he didn't see a lot last year. We saw loaded boxes for the most part. We didn't do a good enough job winning in the passing game to open some of that stuff up.

"When you're a running back and you're constantly seeing seven, eight-man boxes, that can be frustrating."

Published 04 May 2020, 20:00 IST
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