Ask Le’Veon Bell if his recent entanglement with the law and the NFL may have changed him, you might be surprised by the answer:
“Not at all.”
Ask if it has changed anything about the way he plans to attack this season, or perhaps for him to beg forgiveness, you’ll get the equivalence of an emphatic ‘nope.'
But maybe that isn’t such a bad thing.
Rewind to 2014, and Bell's career season. Bell was a huge factor in the Pittsburgh Steelers' offense landing in the number two spot league-wide. He accumulated career highs in rushing yards, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Another achievement that spoke to his consistency: He became the third player in NFL history to roll past 2,000 scrimmage yards without fumbling.
The man was on his game.
Perhaps this is a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
“I still have to be the same player I was that got me into this position. I just want to be the same person,” Bell said.
It has been reported that Bell wasn’t aware that he was breaking the law. When asked to shed more light on that, he was not open to rehashing the past. But ask him about the future, and he's intent on recreating the unquestionably impressive stats he logged last year, and doing his part to ensure the offense succeeds, as well.
But for himself, he seems perfectly comfortable reminding people that no one is perfect. Even star running backs.
“I’m pretty sure some people look at me differently. You know, all I can say is that I’m only human. I know I can’t please everyone, but I just want to move forward.”
It's worth noting that Bell is willing to accept his suspension at face value and answer it with a sense of dedication. He repeats that he wants to move toward a successful season and leave the past in the past. That is a stark departure from the other suspension that made news today, Tom Brady’s DeflateGate punishment, which stands at four games.
Like many of the guys who were asked about the Brady suspension, Bell didn’t really want to comment.
“I’m not part of that situation,” Bell said, “So I don’t know what happened. I just know I want to move forward.”
No, maybe we won’t be fitting Bell with angel’s wings to fit over his shoulder pads. But he already has the halo. He's a conscientious young man whom all the world can see was raised the right way. Hey, if he plays the way he did last year, perhaps wings would be an unfair advantage anyway.