Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

17 Mar 2010

Is Mike Bell Effective In Short-Yardage?

Our friend Sheil Kapadia at philly.com looks at Mike Bell's numbers in short-yardage, and he gets some help from our metrics.

The article also reveals the two backs that were 1-2 in short-yardage situations last year: Ricky Williams and Lousaka Polite. I wonder if the offensive line had something to do with that.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 17 Mar 2010

4 comments, Last at 27 Mar 2010, 4:05am by sports-veronica


by C (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 2:03pm

Mike Bell is actually a bigger back than you'd think and his team has a good QB that could keep defenses honest and good offensive guards.

Rickey Williams could have benefited from 3rd and short plays where he comes in barreling down in motion... Now when would you want Ronnie Brown to keep the ball and when would you want him to hand it off to Rickey? When the defensive ends aren't playing contain and when they come crashing in. If that's what's happening it's sort of cherry pick the data as RW would only be running in favorable situations, where as his OC would NOT be calling to give him the ball in unfavorable situations where opposing DE's keep contain and stay honest. Plus, Rickey Williams is a bigger back than people give him credit for as well.

by mm (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 3:35pm

Bell was pretty good early in the year at getting the necessary yardage. I think he was #2 for the league in success rate for much of the year. However, he tailed off late in the year and the Saints were using Lynell Hamilton more often than Bell by the time the playoffs came.

I have no idea if it was due to an injury, or if he was simply returning to his more natural skill level.

by C (not verified) :: Wed, 03/17/2010 - 4:00pm

Hamilton is a big back that runs like a big back and is ideal for those situations if you believe that the fall foward traditional goal line cloud of dust back is better... but sometimes the smaller quicker guys can also be very effective as they can move quickly in small space.

Hamilton looks like a legit goal line back and that he could rotate in there as well if need be.