Le'Veon Bell, wearing his red No. 26 Chiefs practice jersey, sported a smile as he fielded questions for the first time since joining the defending champions. The veteran running back, shortly after being released by the Jets, signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs last week. He will make his Kansas City debut on Sunday, when the 5-1 Chiefs travel to Denver to take on the 2-3 Broncos.
Bell, who reportedly was choosing between signing with the Chiefs, Dolphins and Bills, explained why he chose to sign with Kansas City, the betting favorite to repeat as champion, according to William Hill Sportsbook.
"When I had the opportunity once I was a free agent, talking to coach Reid, just over the course [of that period] it was kind of undeniable to try to come here, help this team any way that I can help them out," said Bell, a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time first team All Pro during his five seasons with the Steelers. "Having the opportunity to play with coach Reid is just going to be magnificent for me. Play with these players … Patrick Mahomes, I've never played with a player MVP-wise. So, it's going to be fun."
On Monday night, Bell watched with glee as new teammate and backfield mate Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the first running back selected in the 2020 draft, set season highs with 161 yards on 26 carries in Kansas City's 26-17 road victory over the Buffalo Bills. With the Bills' defense focused on stopping Mahomes and his talented receiving corps, Edwards-Helaire spearheaded a Chiefs rushing attack that churned out 245 yards and a touchdown on 46 carries. The Chiefs actually had more rushing yards than yards passing, as Mahomes threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-26 passing.
"If teams are going to play us like this, you're going to see us running the football," Mahomes said after the game, via Nate Taylor of The Athletic. "We have the guys that can do it."
While the Chiefs' offense already includes Mahomes, Edwards-Helaire, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, and Sammy Watkins, there is certainly room for Bell, considering that Mahomes is currently second on the team in rushing. Edwards-Helaire, the Chiefs' leading rusher with 505 yards and a 4.7 yards per carry average, said that he spoke to Bell prior to Monday's win over Buffalo.
"He's another piece to the puzzle," Edwards-Helaire said of Bell, who is averaging 118.4 all-purpose yards per game for his career. "From here, I just feel like we can only go up. Le'Veon is older than me. I'm still in my rookie year, so, ultimately, anything that I can do to pick his brain and gain any knowledge from him, I'm there for it."
Reid, who has coached several versatile running backs in the past, essentially said that the decision to sign Bell was a no-brainer.
"Listen, we don't turn away good players — and he's a good one," Reid said on Monday. "It's exciting to have him around, and we'll see how he does. He's got to get in the playbook and learn everything, but he's a pretty smart kid and has been doing it a long time.
"Clyde will sleep well tonight, as the other backs will, to have one more guy. I don't think any of them will complain."