New York Jets coach Adam Gase has said that Le’Veon Bell won’t be playing in the team’s preseason games.
It’s being done as a precaution, but because of his holdout for the 2018 season, it’s been 19 months since the All-Pro back played in a game.
But Bell still wants to feel ready for the regular season.
‘Give me a little something’
Bell has been encouraging his teammates to give him their best in practice, telling Jets defensive players, “Give me a little something.”
Via Rich Cimini of ESPN, Bell wants to get acclimated to hits, being tackled, everything that would happen in the course of a game.
“Go for the ball, things like that, just so I can get prepared,” Bell said.
He doesn’t want injury-inducing punishment, of course, but Bell thinks upper-body contact will benefit him. If teammates are hesitant, he’ll initiate contact.
“I try to do that intentionally, just so I can feel it,” he said. “A lot of times you'll start seeing guys get a little frustrated and they'll try to hit me back — and that's what I need. They won't take me to the ground and they won't go for my legs. Hitting me up top, things like that, I need all that.”
‘Four plays in the preseason’ won’t be helpful
Bell is on board with Gase’s decision for him to sit out exhibition contests.
“I don’t think getting me four plays in the preseason is going to help me in Week 1,” he said.
But he has been in uniform for the Jets’ first two preseason games, taking part in pre-game warmups, encouraging teammates and trying to get them fired up.
Once the regular season starts, Bell thinks he’ll readjust quickly.
“I know once I get to the game it's going to be a little different, but that's something I'll adjust to. I've been playing football my whole life,” he said.
Gase, who reportedly didn’t want to invest $27 million in a running back, even a two-time All-Pro like Bell, is eager to see what the 27-year-old will do once September comes.
“I can't wait to see what he does on a Sunday,” Gase said. “With him practicing, that's fun enough. You can tell the guy is a special, special player.”
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