Never in his NFL career has Joique Bell been a No. 1 running back. This year, he finally will get his shot, and he believes he’s bound for a breakout season with the Detroit Lions.
“My first year here I rushed for a few hundred (yards),” Bell told MLive.com. “Second year, close to (700). Then last year, almost 900. So this next year, I’m just going to jump the gun and say 1,200. That’s the minimum.”
At this point, nobody is sure what to expect from Bell. After offseason surgery, the Detroit native still hasn’t even participated in practice. With second-round draft pick Ameer Abdullah and the return of Theo Riddick in the mix, some might think that Bell could be eased back into things, but Bell expects to be fully healthy by Week 1 and ready to take the league by storm.
“I’m going to rush for over 1,200 yards,” Bell told MLive.com. “That’s the minimum. If I do less than that, I’ll be surprised. I’ll be disappointed.
“Anything more than that, I wouldn’t be surprised at all.”
While Reggie Bush was sidelined for most of the latter half of last season, Bell took over the majority of the snaps at running back and rushed for nearly 550 yards in just 8 games. At that pace, Bell would fall just below his mark of 1200 yards. But behind new additions Manny Ramirez and Laken Tomlinson, along with head coach Jim Caldwell’s hope to run the ball more this season, Bell’s dream of 1200 yards could be within reach.
Like every other preseason prediction, only time will tell if this statement by Bell turns out to be true. But if it does, Bell may have to project his playoff rushing yards too. Let’s hope that’s the case.