Darius Bell on First Catch

Darius Bell talks about making his first catches in a game, the team's overall commitment to downfield blocking, and his block to spring Jordon James...

Q: How was it getting your first extended time this weekend?

A: It felt good. I had my legs underneath me. You know, I had a week or so off to get healthy and right, and it felt good to just be out there contributing to the team and just doing something.

Q: How did it feel to make your first catches, did it feel natural?

A: It was cool, it was good to get my first catch. I had to, because a couple of the freshmen like Kenny Walker, they were making fun of me. I've been here three years, and they got a catch before me. But it's all in good humor. It just felt good to contribute to this team, somehow some way. I've been here and worked my tail off, but I've never done anything to help my team get a first down or help my team get in position to score a touchdown. I had a couple of opportunities this week and I think I took full advantage of it.

Q: That block you made to spring Jordon James. A year ago this time, did any part of you expect to be in there blocking guys on the edge?

A: Not at all, not at all. Not a year ago. But in this offense, with the playmakers we have, if we get out and protect the perimeter and do our job like we can, these guys can do some things with it, as you've seen through the first three games. So, that play was just about me getting my man and not letting my man get a play. I happened to get two (guys), and we happened to walk in for a touchdown, so I think we did our jobs.

Q: I know it's not a true tight end in this offense, but it seemed like it was critical at times in this past game. How much of a part of your role is blocking?

A: It's huge. To me, blocking is more important than catching. We're supposed to catch. That's our job, we're supposed to go make plays with the ball. But doing stuff away from the ball, that makes a big difference in this offense. Guys like Shaquelle Evans, who's made some hustle plays down the field. It's just stuff we weren't doing last year that we do this year that has resulted in some big plays for us. So, to me it's 60/40 blocking/catching, because like I said, catching is something we're supposed to do.

Q: Do you think there's a greater sense of, I don't know if selflessness is the right word, but a greater sense of team over the self this season?

A: A lot more. A lot more. You can just tell by touchdown celebrations in themselves. Guys last year would celebrate by themselves. Now, you've got the whole team celebrating, the whole sideline is jumped up, is hyped. This year, everything we do is about doing it together and doing it as a team. We've been through everything as a team. I mean, San Bernardino, it wasn't one person out there, it was the whole team struggling and fighting every day. Being as close as we are together, it's way more team chemistry and team bonding. Each touchdown, that's our touchdown. It's Jordon James' touchdown, it's my touchdown, it's Torian White's touchdown. We're all scoring.

Q: Back to Shaq Evans, it seems he has really bought in to the downfield blocking in this offense. Is that something you guys notice, one of the leading receivers on the team last year taking to blocking so much this year?

A: It's definitely one thing I noticed right away. The Rice game, when I saw him go down and block for Brett Hundley and then saw him go block for Johnathan Franklin, I walked up to him and said, "That's championship football." It's what separates the great guys from the good guys. A guy whose number's not called, it's easy to take a play off when your number's not called. Who's the guy who, when the coaches say it's a run, is going to run 80 yards down field to block because there's a potential touchdown? That's what Shaq's doing. He's doing a great job being a leader for us. He's not catching as many balls as he'd like, but he's making an impact for us where he can. That's hopefully what everyone on the field wants to do for us this year.

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