Thursday, December 5, 2013

Week 13 Rookie Report: Offensive Linemen Come Into Focus, Kiko Alonso Slows Down

This week was light on rookie impact around the league, at least from players who haven’t already been heard from in some way this season. A few more undrafted players showed off their skills this past week along with a couple of early-round picks who have bounced back nicely after early-season struggles. Chris Tripodi takes a look at which rookies are making a big impact as the NFL playoff picture takes shape.

Le’Veon Bell (RB-Pit)

A scary moment towards the end of last Thursday’s Steelers-Ravens game took some of the attention away from a great game by Bell, as he was involved in a late helmet-to-helmet collision that concussed him, caused memory loss and took away a touchdown. Bell looks like he will be fine to play this week which is great news for the suddenly competitive Steelers, who will need their new workhorse back to put together more games like he did against a strong Baltimore run defense with 136 total yards and a touchdown.

Bell’s 43-yard third quarter run was a great display of the various skills he’s shown this season. Starting by taking a handoff to the right, Bell stutter stepped and waited for the hole to open before quickly busting through to the second level. Using his vision to recognize Antonio Brown’s block developing, Bell stopped and juked at the last moment to avoid crashing into Brown’s defender and was in the open field. While he lacks the breakaway speed to take this play to the house, he showed good strength at the end of the run and fought for an extra 10 yards to finish the play.

Read the read at Draft Insider

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