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Jacob Bell Has Been Solid For St. Louis Rams

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  • Jacob Bell Has Been Solid For St. Louis Rams

    Jacob Bell has been solid for St. Louis Rams
    BY BILL COATS
    11/26/2009



    As the host of a bounteous Thanksgiving dinner, Rams guard Jacob Bell will be surrounded by friends and family today. "I have a sister, brother, mom, dad, step-mom, cousin, and a couple of friends and teammates coming over," he said. "So, it'll be a good day."

    The comfort of familiar faces was a rare commodity for Bell last year, his first with the Rams after signing a six-year, $36 million contract as a free agent. Injuries kept the coaches busy juggling the personnel on the offensive line, making it difficult for Bell, the left guard, to settle in.

    Not so this season, at least in Bell's immediate area. He, center Jason Brown and left tackle Alex Barron have taken virtually every snap. Continuity has been established, and the play of the line has improved significantly.

    "I played on what I felt were some of the better offensive lines when I was at Tennessee" for four years, he said. "Coming here, this season especially, I don't feel there's many better than us. We've been pretty consistent keeping Marc clean and giving Steven room to run."

    Quarterbacks Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller have been sacked just 21 times. Running back Steven Jackson has rushed for 1,031 yards, second in the NFL.

    According to STATS LLC, Bell is responsible for just one sack. Overall, he's graded out consistently well on the coaches' postgame film review.

    "I think I'm kind of figuring out some things that are working for me," he said. "It's just really tough to put things into perspective when you're not winning. But if I was to look at myself, I feel like I'm getting the job done."

    Coach Steve Spagnuolo described Bell's performance as "very solid. He's a tough guy that's played well."

    Pass blocking always has been a strength for Bell, the Titans' fifth-round draft pick in 2004 out of Miami (Ohio). Run blocking, he conceded, has been his nemesis.

    "A lot of times when you second-guess yourself, it slows you down and you don't do exactly what you wanted to do. I still struggle with that and that's when I start getting into trouble," Bell explained. "But this year, I think I've done a lot better job of trusting myself with my technique."

    Staying bulked up has helped, too, he said. In the past, the 6-foot-4 Bell struggled to maintain his weight — last year, for example, he slipped down to 280.

    "At the end of my first (NFL) season, I hurt my knee and my shoulder. I had two major surgeries within a month of each other, and I'm walking around with a crutch on one side and a sling on the other side," he said. "I got down to 268 pounds. That's from 312 or 313 when I first reported that season. Since then, I didn't go above 290 until this year."

    This past offseason, Bell, 28, persuaded his cousin to delay enrollment in culinary school and become his full-time chef. The result has been healthier eating. And the weight has stayed on.

    "It's amazing — I'm at 305 now," Bell said. "I stay pretty well nourished with having my cousin cook for me."

    All the better to deal with the bulky defenders across the line, he noted. "I would've never said this before, because I always thought I could be the light guy, the technique guy who gets things done," he said, "but that size does help you."

    Bell also credits Barron and Brown with aiding his development.

    "I really like playing next to the guys I'm playing next to right now," Bell said. "Alex, I don't think I've played next to a better guy; he's a fantastic football player. And having a guy like Jason in there in the middle, it helps immensely. I can't tell you how many times he's saved a pressure or what might've been a sack."

    So despite the Rams' 1-9 record, Bell has plenty of reasons to celebrate today. Among them, he's thankful that he doesn't have to help with the cooking.

    "Oh, no ... I don't do anything. I stay away from the kitchen," he said, laughing. "My cousin, my mom and my sister will be doing all that stuff. I'll be watching TV."

  • #2
    Re: Jacob Bell Has Been Solid For St. Louis Rams

    Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    "I really like playing next to the guys I'm playing next to right now," Bell said. "Alex, I don't think I've played next to a better guy; he's a fantastic football player.
    He is playing alongside Barron and Brown and he mention Barron as the best player. Really interesting.
    Si vous croyez en vous, que vous avez de la fierté, et que vous ne lâchez jamais, vous serez un gagnant.
    Le prix de la victoire est chère, mais la récompense en vaut la peine.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Jacob Bell Has Been Solid For St. Louis Rams

      Was Barron not meant to be our next Left Tackle when we selected him? Maybe Barron will get his contract and keep Smith on the right

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Jacob Bell Has Been Solid For St. Louis Rams

        I hope Bell continues to improve and play better consistently. He seems like a good guy, but for some reason, I've never really been a fan. I hope with time, his improved play will persuade me to be a fan.

        Maybe it's because he played at 290lbs last year, but this year at around 305lbs, he's looked pretty decent.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Jacob Bell Has Been Solid For St. Louis Rams

          Thats one of the better articles I have read in a long time. As fans, we watch football games. We watch the guys with the ball. We rarely pay attention to the big uglies unless they do something wrong, ie sack, false start.

          This is a great in depth analysis of our line, straight from the trenches. When I heard Bell say Alex was the best lineman he has played next to I took a double take. We have all been down on Barron, but now that he is in his natural position he is playing like the guy we drafted. My only concern is that he is only working hard because he is ready to cash in.

          Also, we have J Smooth waiting in the wings to move over to left. He is being payed way too much to play RT right? Well, playing right tackle back in highschool has made me biased to the "unpopular tackle". I realize the whole "blind side" argument, but I feel like the RT in a run based team deserve just as much money for clearing holes for S Jax as does the guy who is protecting the QB.

          This gives me a good feeling about our o line as we continue this rebuilding process.

          Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Jacob Bell Has Been Solid For St. Louis Rams

            C-Mob I agree. Although LT is very important, I think it's an overrated position. No one ever talks about the RT, for example. And like you said, they probably should because that's where we've been running the ball efficiently.

            Like I've said before, if it ain't broke...
            Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Jacob Bell Has Been Solid For St. Louis Rams

              I think what we see here is an entire line gelling together. Jason Brown is really helping us out. He's been a dominant player.

              I like Jacob Bell, he was frustrating, but seeing our line improve makes me love him even more. Hope he continues to improve!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Jacob Bell Has Been Solid For St. Louis Rams

                The only problem, with keeping Barron is the money. How much do you pay him. He helps us with the price tag since he is the most penalized player in the NFL, but alot of teams are looking for quality left tackles. Since we potentially have 2 if Barron is commnading to much dough we gotta stick with Smith. Goldberg will be Fine at RT and he is one of our better Run blockers anyway

                Comment

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                • jbell15
                  Jacob Bell wasn't kidding
                  by jbell15
                  When he said he was going to beef up this off-season.
                  He added 15-20 lbs and says he wants to get near 300.
                  Check out the article on the rams website.
                  I'm stoked to hear about his progress.
                  -05-03-2009, 05:37 PM
                • r8rh8rmike
                  Bell Bounces Back
                  by r8rh8rmike
                  Bell Bounces Back
                  Sunday, August 30, 2009


                  By Nick Wagoner
                  Senior Writer

                  Upon making his return to the football field for the first time since suffering a serious concussion on Aug. 14 against the Jets, Rams guard Jacob Bell wanted to waste no time in checking to see where his head was at – literally and figuratively.

                  So it was that Bell stepped on the practice field at the Russell Training Center on Sunday and immediately called upon some of his lesser tenured teammates to knock the rust off quickly.

                  “I started out early popping the rookies in individual drills to get my helmet loose and see if the marbles are still loose up there,” Bell said. “It felt pretty good.”

                  Bell completed the practice at his usual left guard spot with the first team with no issues and felt fine during the practice as well as after.

                  That’s a long way from how the past couple of weeks have been, though.

                  The play seemed simple enough, as the Rams called for a power run to the right on the first play of the game in which Bell’s responsibility is to pull out to the right and essentially lead block for the running back.

                  Pulling is something Bell has done countless times in his career and he estimates he’s done it at least 200 times in games in his five years in the NFL. For as long as he can remember, Bell has always done it the same way, though, with his head down.

                  Despite having many coaches tell him to keep his head up when he pulls, Bell says he’s always been better pulling because he can deliver more of a blow with his head down.

                  “What happens when you pull around is if you put your head down, you make yourself vulnerable to any kind of collision like that,” Bell said. “They’ve been telling me since I was a rookie don’t put your head down when you pull. I have had success with it in the past though just popping people.”

                  This time, with his head down, Bell was on the receiving end of a vicious helmet to helmet collision with Jets linebacker Bart Scott.

                  Two plays later, Bell and the offense came off the field and Bell unknowingly had the first serious concussion of his career.

                  “When you do have a concussion, you don’t know you have a concussion,” Bell said. “You feel normal. Like I was talking to everybody on the sidelines but the same questions I am asking them, I am going back five minutes later and asking the same question like Dory from Finding Nemo. You feel normal but on the outside looking in you are messed up.”

                  Bell was diagnosed with the concussion almost immediately and taken out of that game soon after the hit.

                  And while Bell felt OK soon after the hit, it was what he experienced over the next few days that truly made him realize the severity of the injury.

                  Bell struggled to remember even little...
                  -08-30-2009, 04:40 PM
                • RamWraith
                  Bell Settled in St. Louis
                  by RamWraith
                  Thursday, August 7, 2008

                  By Nick Wagoner
                  Senior Writer

                  NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Before Jacob Bell could even get settled back in his former home, he could hear it.

                  It was the sound of Kevin Mawae, the Tennessee Titans’ starting center and resident wiseacre. As Bell went through stretching exercises with the rest of his new Rams teammates, Mawae was causing a stir a field away.

                  ‘Stop slacking, Bell,’ or ‘Get in gear 63,’ were just a couple of examples of the ammunition Mawae threw at his former teammate.

                  To Bell, Mawae’s taunts were nothing new.

                  “He’s always yelling,” Bell said. “He’s yelling at me in my dreams. He’s one of my good buddies, we kept in contact and it was good to see him out there.”

                  This week represents a homecoming for Bell, who was one of the Rams’ biggest offseason acquisitions. After spending his first four NFL seasons with the Titans, Bell signed a six-year, $36 million contract with the Rams on March 4.

                  Soon after, the Rams installed Bell as the starting left guard and the offensive line went to work on gaining traction.

                  Bell’s return to Tennessee this week brings back plenty of memories, not the least of which includes a chance to reunite with many of the players who helped make him among the most highly compensated interior linemen in the league.

                  Mawae, for instance, is one player Bell cites as a serious influence on turning Bell from fifth-round draft choice to highly-regarded lineman. Mawae is entering his 16th season in the league and helped show Bell the ropes of the game from the moment he entered the league.

                  “He’s just about seen it all,” Bell said. “He has definitely learned a lot and wanted to teach me everything he knows. So I listened with open ears. Everything there is to know, technique to the way you talk to people and getting to know referees and stuff like that.”

                  Bell’s introduction to the NFL wasn’t limited to a player lining up next to him, though. Bell is taking advantage of the chance to get re-acquainted with the player who he squared off against in practice for most of his time with the Titans.

                  Tennessee defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth has tormented opponents for most of his career and became an All Pro performer in 2007. Bell became used to facing Haynesworth every day in practice and renewed that rivalry in practice this week.

                  While Haynesworth is widely considered one of the top tackles in the game, Bell more than held his own in one on one drills.

                  “Albert is a Pro Bowl quality player,” Bell said. “I played against him and was fortunate enough to go against him for four seasons. I learned a lot going against him and he helped me become a better player.”

                  Bell admittedly got off to a slow start in this year’s training camp but has turned it on in recent days as he...
                  -08-07-2008, 07:14 PM
                • RamWraith
                  Jacob Bell Insists He's Not Shrinking
                  by RamWraith
                  By Jim Thomas
                  ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                  12/19/2008

                  Jacob Bell insists he's not the incredible shrinking guard. Over the last month or so of this season, there has been much scuttlebutt about Bell's weight being down into the low 280s.

                  Because his listed playing weight coming into the NFL was 305 pounds, that would be an alarming loss of more than 20 pounds. Bell attempted to set the record straight in an interview earlier in the week.

                  "I came into the league at 305, but that was five years ago," he said. "I had ACL (knee) surgery that offseason. I lost a bunch of weight; I never put it back on. I kind of liked the way I felt a little bit lighter, and I played well at that weight."

                  Since his rookie season with the Tennessee Titans in 2004, Bell said he has played at 290 pounds throughout his career. So when he dipped down in the 280s, that represented a loss of only 5 pounds or so — not 20-something pounds.

                  So he hasn't lost a ton of weight.

                  "Not at all," Bell said. "I'm usually dominating, no matter how big I am."

                  He was joking when he said that. Actually, Bell hasn't been dominating as a Ram, although he has played better lately. Slowed by hamstring and foot injuries earlier in the season, Bell hasn't looked like a $36 million man much of the season. That's the total contract value of the six-year free-agent deal he signed with St. Louis last March 4.

                  Bell is the first to admit that big expectations come with big bucks in the NFL.

                  "Somebody like me, they expect a lot out of me," he said. "There's no room for error. And when you're losing, the spotlight's that much bigger on every one of us. Because you're losing for a reason. You're not losing because of the coaches; you're losing because the players aren't getting the job done."

                  The transition from Titan to Ram was tough on Bell at the start of the season.

                  "First game of the year, I thought I came out pretty decent — there were a few things I could've gotten better at," Bell said. "But then I had the stupid (hamstring) injury."

                  That sidelined him for two games. Bell returned against Buffalo in Game 4 and played well but then suffered a foot injury in Game 5 at Washington, which was Jim Haslett's Rams head-coaching debut.

                  "I played all the way up to the (first) San Francisco game with pretty much a bum leg," Bell said. "I was hobbling around. I was out there, but I wasn't playing my best football. ...You want to be healthy. You want to be able to play the way you know you can play."

                  Haslett agreed with the notion that Bell's play has improved down the stretch.

                  "He's been playing with power," Haslett said. "He's added a couple pounds again. I think he's...
                  -12-19-2008, 06:15 AM
                • RamWraith
                  Bell Excited for Opportunity
                  by RamWraith
                  Tuesday, March 4, 2008

                  By Nick Wagoner

                  Senior Writer

                  As an oversized youth growing up in Ohio playing football, there was only one real option for a role model for young Jacob Bell.
                  That role model hadn’t yet become a future Hall of Famer; instead he was forcing NFL talent evaluators to re-evaluate how they look at the tackle position. His name? Orlando Pace. Growing up in Cleveland , Bell spent plenty of time watching Pace become one of the most dominant blockers in college football history at nearby Ohio State . When Bell signed a six-year contract worth about $36 million with the Rams on Tuesday morning, he will get a much closer look at how his football hero handles his business.

                  Soon after Bell put pen to paper Tuesday, the realization hit him that he will be lining up next to Pace as the team’s new left guard.

                  “The opportunity to play next to Orlando Pace. I grew up in Ohio, and Ohio State was one of my favorite schools obviously, so to play next to him will be pretty cool,” Bell said. “I think every lineman looks up to Orlando. He’s a great player, and I look forward to playing with him.”

                  While Bell mentioned playing next to Pace and blocking for the likes of running back Steven Jackson as reasons for persuading his move to St. Louis, there are more people who are plenty happy to have him on board.

                  At the top of that list is quarterback Marc Bulger. Bulger has been a more constant presence around Russell Training Center this offseason and is hoping to have a bounce back season in 2008 after a difficult 2007.

                  Making that task easier will be the arrival of help on the offensive line. Getting a guard many consider one of the better young interior linemen in the league will go a long way toward helping Bulger return to form.

                  That’s why the signal caller spent time speaking with Bell on Monday evening and again on Tuesday morning.

                  “He told me a lot of the same things I had already heard, that they needed some help, that they were banged up last year,” Bell said. “He sold me on the coaching staff and Coach Linehan and the players and the guys around here. He just told me it was a good place to be and hey, we want you and need you here.”

                  Receiver Drew Bennett also put in his work to help persuade Bell to leave Tennessee, where he spent his first four seasons in the league. Bennett played with Bell for three of those years and he spoke with Bell on Friday soon after the Rams made contact to attempt to get Bell to visit St. Louis.

                  After making a run at veteran guard Alan Faneca in the opening day or so of free agency, it became clear he had no intention of making visits or seeing what his suitors were about.

                  Bell was different, though. He wanted to do his diligence and ensure that St. Louis was the right fit for the next six years of his life. “Probably...
                  -03-04-2008, 06:40 PM
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