FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Le’Veon Bell feels he’s not getting enough of an opportunity in Adam Gase’s offense.
Bell is having a disappointing season, the least productive of his career. The three-time Pro Bowl running back expected there to be a transition coming to a new team, but he believes he hasn’t gotten the chance to be at his best.
“To be honest with you, no,” Bell said. “I feel like when I do, I’ll be back to what people are used to seeing.”
Bell was the Jets' marquee free-agent signing. They gave him $52.5 million over four years. But it wouldn't be surprising if Bell was one-and-done with the Jets.
There were rumblings that Gase didn’t want him and that money could have been better served going to other positions. Gase favors a passing game over a run attack. Bell is good in both, as he proved with the Steelers. He rushed for more than 1,200 yards three times in four years and had at least 1,884 yards of total offense in those three seasons. In 12 games this year, Bell has run for 559 yards – with a career-low 3.2 yards per carry - and totaled 992 yards.
When asked if he’s being underutilized, he said, “I don’t know.”
“I’m trying to win games,” Bell said. “For me, I always feel like I can do more. When they call me to do more I’ll be ready. Until then, I’m going to go out there, do my role, play football and do what I can.”
Bell voiced his frustration to Gase about his lack of usage following a loss in Jacksonville in which he only got 11 touches. Bell said he hasn’t spoken about it since.
"We both understand each other," Bell said. "As time goes on things will get better."
But this frustration has been festering, and was on display two weeks ago in Cincinnati when Gase abandoned the run game against the NFL's worst-rushing defense.
Bell missed last week’s game with the flu. Bilal Powell rushed 19 times for 74 yards against Miami. Bell has only gotten that many carries once this season. He said if he gets the chance Thursday against the Ravens, he’ll produce.
“If I get the opportunity, I’ll make some plays,” Bell said. “I’m ready. I told everybody else in the locker room, the coaching staff that I’m ready. They’re aware. We’ll see how it goes.”