It's time to ring in the arrival of Le'Veon Bell as the new "bellcow back" in the Jets offense. Here are 10 things we need to know about one of the NFL's top RBs:
President of the 100/50 Club
Bell's 2016 season remains one for the record books. He's the most recent NFL back to average 100-plus rushing yards/game for a season (105.7), and the only one to average 100+ rush yards and 50+ pass yards (51.3) for a season. Finally, his 157.0 scrimmage yards/game makes him one of seven players to reach 150 scrimmage yards/game in a season and the most recent since Chris Johnson in 2009.
His Mother's Son
Bell, the middle of five children, on his relationship with his mother, Lisa: "My mom and I are very close. After a tough game, she's the only person I can talk to. She comforts me and it doesn't matter how mad I am, she can always get through to me. ... My mom loves football because I love it."
Chapter and Verse
Among Bell's numerous tattoos is a picture of his mom hugging him after Michigan State's loss in the Big Ten Championship. Other tats include two Bible passages, Jeremiah 1:5 and John 3:16, both on his left arm.
Never Too Early to Learn
Bell began playing football in his hometown of Reynoldsburg, OH, just outside of Columbus, at an early age. His uncle introduced him to the game at 4. His cousin was 5 at the time and that was the reason Bell frequently played in age groups higher than his own.
Smitty's Similar Path
Bell attended Groveport Madison HS in Groveport, OH, just outside of Columbus. That's the same high school that produced safety Eric Smith, who also attended Michigan State before being selected by the Jets in the third round of the 2006 draft.
Style All His Own
Bell is not superfast (4.60 in the 40 at the 2013 NFL Combine) but has a unique running style combining speed, power, patience, spins and, perhaps from his high school track days, hurdling. He wasn't a hurdler but he did run the 100 and 200 meters and was one of Ohio's top high school high jumpers in '13 with a personal best of 6'8".
Top Images of the Newly-Signed Jets Running Back
His Favorite Martin
Growing up, Bell was inspired to find new moves to try out on the gridiron from watching, among others, Pro Football Hall of Famer and Jets Ring of Honor RB Curtis Martin. He also emulated Adrian Peterson and former Ohio State back Beanie Wells.
Besides football, Bell has another career in music. Going by the stage name "Juice," he released a 16-track album via SoundCloud in 2017. Last year he released a single, "Target" and a four-song project, "My Side of Things." On Wednesday he announced on Instagram the release of his album "Life Is a Gamble," shortly before posting that he would be joining the Green & White.
Bell in a 2012 article on msusports.com on playing the game he loves: "I've always had a passion since I first started playing. I think football is the perfect game because one player can't do it all. It takes every man on the field — there has to be a connection. I feel such a variety of emotions when I play. It's very special."
Four Yards to Eight Grand
Bell, who averaged 4.5 yards/carry and 8.5 yards/catch his last four Steelers seasons, needs just 4 yards to become the quickest in pro football history to 8,000 scrimmage yards. He presumably will reach that plateau in his 63rd regular-season game and his first as a Jet, beating out Eric Dickerson, who reached 8,000 in 64 games, and LaDainian Tomlinson and Edgerrin James, who both did it in 65 games.