FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Le’Veon Bell was not upset that the Jets took calls inquiring about him before the trade deadline, but he was frustrated that Adam Gase didn’t call his number more last game. Bell voiced that to his coach.
Bell said he “didn’t blow up” on Gase. He just sent him a text message after getting only 12 touches in Sunday’s 29-15 loss at Jacksonville. The two spoke after that, and Bell believes he will be more involved Sunday against the Dolphins.
“I’m really always frustrated after a loss,” Bell said. “But this was a little different because I wasn’t involved, and we lost. I expressed the way I felt with Coach Gase. We had a good little talk.
“I want to be a main reason to helping the team win. I don’t like not being used and we end up losing the game. I felt like I couldn’t really help my team out.”
Bell, 27, has been very professional in his attitude and approach since signing a four-year, $52.5 million contract in free agency. Gase has praised him for that.
The dual-threat back repeatedly has said he doesn’t care if his touches are low if the Jets win. They are 1-6, though, and his touches and production have dipped. The 12 touches were the second fewest of his career.
“I want to be involved and I want to help the team win games,” Bell said. “Lately we haven’t been winning and I feel like I haven’t been able to help. I had to express a little bit. But we’re fine and we’ll move forward from it.
“I think we have a better game plan for me to get more involved this week. It should be fun.”
Gase acknowledged to Bell and publicly that he regrets not using the two-time Pro Bowl running back more Sunday.
“We just have to make sure that he has touches,” Gase said. “Last week was bad. That was on me.”
Bell, who totaled only 35 yards in Jacksonville, left without speaking to reporters. He said that was because he didn’t want to incite something and make matters worse.
“I didn’t want to get in front of the media and say something that everybody would run with,” Bell said. “I didn’t want to say something that I would regret saying because I was angry at the time.”
Bell also is frustrated because he hasn’t had one of those prolific games that were common when he was with Pittsburgh. But the Steelers’ offensive line was far better, opening the holes and gaps that Bell isn’t seeing with the Jets.
Bell continues to say he believes the offense will click and that the Jets will turn things around. He said he wants to be with them when that happens.
“I’m going to embrace the process,” he said. “Things are not all sunny and roses and stuff like that. It will get better. When it does, it’s going to be that much better.”
Unlike Jamal Adams, Bell understood general manager Joe Douglas fielding calls about him from other teams before the trade deadline.
Bell released a video after the deadline that preached patience. He said he appreciated that Douglas called him after the deadline to discuss what happened. Adams hasn’t spoken to Douglas or Gase.
“I don’t take offense to it,” Bell said. “I just know teams are doing what’s best for the team. My deal was done before Joe even got here. I understand where he’s coming from. I know he’s not really tied to me in a sense because he didn’t do my deal.
“He didn’t have to call me after the trade deadline and express how he felt and give me the one-on-one and give me all the information that went down behind the scenes. The fact that he did it, I respected him for it.”
Bell said on UNINTERRUPTED’s “17 Weeks’’ Podcast on SiriusXM that his agent told him the Texans, Packers, Chiefs and “surprisingly” the Steelers “were all in the mix of trying to trade” for him and that “the Jets were really asking for a high price and a lot.”
Bell also understands Adams being upset about what happened. The safety is a few years younger and has played for only one team, and Bell speaks from experience after his dealings with the Steelers. But he said Adams has to put it behind him.
“Both sides got to deal with it,” Bell said. “For everything to be moving forward, they got to work together, squash it and move forward — period.”