I saw comments all over the place last week with people weighing in on whether or not they thought Mike Bell was a good signing for the Eagles. It seemed like a pretty even split with people liking the move and people not liking the move. Personally, I think it’s a good addition for the Eagles.
First of all, Bell has some solid experience under his belt. He’s spent four seasons in the league and just experienced a Super Bowl run with Saints which landed him a ring. I like the fact that he has this experience, but at the same time has plenty of tread left on the tires. Many of the other free agent backs that were available were older so production may have been limited. I think Bell should be hitting his prime right now, and hopefully the Eagles can take advantage of that.
The thing I probably like most about Bell is his size. At 6′ 225 pounds he can do some real bruising, especially in those short yardage situations that the Eagles have struggled with so much in the past. Leonard Weaver seemed to be the short yardage answer last year, but when they did this it came out of a single back formation. Having Weaver lead block for Bell should make it much easier to move the chains on those short yardage situations.
Also, the fact that he can run with power is a good complement to LeSean McCoy’s running style. Shady isn’t going to run anyone over, but he can make a cut or two and make a defender look silly. Bell has the power to take on a defender, but is also quite athletic for his size.
Overall, I like the move and believe the depth chart at running back should look pretty good once the season starts. It doesn’t look like the Saints will match the offer, so Bell will be joining the team this week. Hopefully, he can make an immediate impact.