Todd Haley speaks high praise of rookie RB Le'Veon Bell

Steelers OC Haley raves about rookie RB Bell

5/2/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

The Steelers' backfield is rounded out by Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman, LaRod Stephens-Howling, and Baron Batch.

Dwyer and Redman were both disappointing last season, running for 4.0 and 3.7 yards per attempt, respectively. They are both signed under $1.3 million restricted free agent tenders. Dwyer is currently being dangled as trade bait, and there is heavy speculation that if they can't find a suitor for him, either he or Redman will be released before the start of the season.

Stephens-Howling was a free agent acquisition brought on mostly for the purpose of returning kicks, but may also serve a role on passing downs.

Batch is a seventh-round pick who averaged 2.0 yards on his 25 rushing attempts last season.

It appears that Bell is the heavy favorite to be featured in the backfield as a rookie - something that the Steelers have not done in over 20 years. He's essentially a lock for early-down and goal-line work, and Haley sounds like he expects Bell to take over the third-down role as well. Among rookies, Bell is perhaps the safest bet for fantasy production in 2013, and is shaping up to be a potentially solid RB2.
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