Film breakdown: The good and bad of Yeremiah Bell

UPDATE: Bell signed with the Jets less than an hour after I pressed the “Publish” button, naturally.

The Eagles and Jets are said to be the two teams chasing after Yeremiah Bell.  The Eagles, according to Eaglescap.com, are a little more than $15 million under the cap.  The Jets, according to nyjetscap.com, are about $8 million under the cap.  Both teams can afford him.

In advance of the potential signing, I thought we would take a quick look at Bell and what he brings to the table.

The good:

  • Durable: Played all 1126 snaps for Miami last year, according to PFF.
  • Racks up tackles: More than 100 each of the past 4 years.
  • Good blitzer: 2 sacks last year, and 7 pressures, according to PFF.
  • Smart player, widely regarded as a leader in Miami’s defense.

The bad:

  • 34 years old, and it shows in his coverage ability.

First, let’s look at the good.  Here’s one of Bell’s two sacks last season.  Bell is the player circled (duh).  He is disguising a blitz.

The Dolphins run a 3-4, but here they’re in their nickle set, with 4 down linemen.  At the snap, watch as the DTs run a stunt.  The RDT (#94 Randy Starks) will rush directly at the center, and the LDT (#90 Ryan Baker) will loop around an engage on the LG.  Bell attacks the line of scrimmage:

Tebow begins his drop as Bell continues to attack the line of scrimmage.  The RB chips on the DE, and heads out into his pattern.  Tebow is on his own in the backfield.

With the RB chipping on the DE, the RG notices Bell coming on the blitz, but has no chance of getting over to block him:

Tebow is meat:

This is just an excellent job by Bell in disguising his blitz.  When you hear people talk about “veteran savvy,” this is it.

OK, now… the bad.

Here the Dolphins are facing the Eagles, and they’re in a simple Cover 2 look, meaning that Bell has deep half responsibility.  DeSean Jackson is running a post corner route.  At the snap, Jackson will get an inside release and attack the safety (Bell):

Here’s a better look at the Dolphins’ play call as the play develops.  You’ll see Jackson getting into a post, which he’s about to break off to the corner.  Note the protection that Michael Vick has.  It’s probably fair to say that just about any safety in the league would be over-matched here, but Bell doesn’t even have a fighting chance:

When Jackson makes his cut to the corner, Bell gets completely turned around:

Here’s a close up of that:

Easy pitch and catch, with Bell beaten by a good 3 yards:

If the Eagles sign Bell, I can see them using him situationally, but he is not a player capable of covering the faster WRs in the league today.

18 Comments

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  8. tst29 says:

    Don’t feel bad. He signed while I wrote my other comment.

  9. tst29 says:

    I guess my question is- how much of an improvement is he over Kurt Coleman? Last year we signed Paige because Nate Allen was still slow after coming off a knee injury. This year we have 2 healthy starters and another guy who the Eagles think will be their future starter. I’m guessing that the Eagles will try to ease Jarrett into the starting role by mid season. Signing Bell would complicate that, but if Bell was a much better player than Coleman, I can see them reducing Coleman to a ST player and backup S.

  10. iskar36 says:

    I think Bell makes so much sense for the Eagles. Right now, we have 3 young guys at the position and typically you want to carry 4. Signing Bell to what should amount to a close to vet minimum salary would mean bringing him in without knocking any significant player off the roster. On top of that, as you stated above, Bell has “veteran savvy” AND knows what Bowles wants. Lastly, as you mentioned, he is a veteran leader that would be brought in at a spot that lacks a veteran presence. I think he can be a great support for our young players and would also be able to come in without disrupting the development of these young guys that the Eagles like. He certainly has his limitations, and I don’t want my comment to be confused with “Bell would be a savior to our weak safety corps,” but he would be able to provide at least a reliable backup to a group that is full of question marks.

  11. Mark Sitko says:

    I’m not an NFL DC, but I do play a lot of Madden – and to blame Bell for Desean’s TD is a little ridiculous. Desean should not be covered in a zone like that – with a safety over top alone, no man on him underneath? That is just asking for trouble. He should beat that coverage every single time – I think this is poor evidence of Bell’s limits…what safety makes that play? Who can cut with D-Jax running at him full speed, no other help…it’s like man on man coverage at the line, but the WR gets to be running full speed at the hike…

    1. Mark Sitko says:

      The only reason that CB stays down near the flat is to cover a dump off to the RB? Makes no sense, he needs to stay with D-Jax and have Bell support him – any other coverage call is disrespectful…and Vick/Jax made them pay…

      1. It’s a zone coverage, not man-to-man.

    2. I agree that most safeties would be over-matched there, and noted that in the post. However, Bell doesn’t even have a chance here. By the time the ball is in DeSean’s hands, Bell is off him by 3 yards.

  12. RogerPodacter says:

    but is he jarrad page?

    1. No. Bell can tackle.

      1. The Purple Lion says:

        Bazinga!

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