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Could former Saints practice-squad player be the next Jeremy Lin?

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Posted 02-27-2012 at 01:03 PM by SloMotion
Updated 02-27-2012 at 01:08 PM by SloMotion (categorize)

I've been seeing this headline bandied about and I've been thinking. I remember when the Lions signed Joique Bell off New Orleans practice squad. Detroit had just clinched a WildCard and I had begun hanging around the Black&Gold. Emotions were high, everyone in the "D" had been hoping for New York, but not me ... I wanted the Saints ... and yeah, in retrospect, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

But I remember what you guys said about Joique Bell and how well-regarded he was on the B&G. I started to think the Lions may have found a diamond in the rough. Besides, he was a local boy out of Wayne State ... you can't go wrong signing a local boy. But what makes him the next Jeremy Lin? Aren't we talking apples & oranges?

Jeremy Lin had a pretty decent college career at Harvard, making the All-Ivy team his junior and senior years ... but the Ivy League is not the SCC, ACC or the Big East, it wasn't surprising to see him go undrafted by the NBA.

Joique Bell, on the other hand, had a pretty successful college football career at Wayne State University and won the Harlon Hill Award ... Division II's version of the Heisman. But similar to Lin's case, a Harlon Hill is not the Heisman, and he too went undrafted.

Eventually, Lin found himself fighting for a basketball career on the NBA Summer League circuit. It worked and he was invited to his hometown Golden State Warrior's training camp ... then came the lockout, Lin was picked up by the Houston Rockets, released, then claimed off waivers by the Knicks. He came off the bench in Madison Square Gardens, scoring 28pts for a career night against the Nets ... and the rest is "Lin-sanity".

Bell signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Bills; he too fought for a career, bouncing around Philadelphia, Indianapolis and New Orleans, never catching on, eventually being signed to the practice squad. In December, 2011, Joique Bell was signed by the Lions. His shot at lifting his team won't come until next season.

The Knicks were struggling when Coach Mike D'Antoni threw Jeremy Lin in the game out of desperation. With three running backs coming off significant injuries (Jahvid Best, Mikel Leshoure, Jerome Harrison) and an injury-prone Kevin Smith in front of him, desperation by the Lions to find their running game might be the reason Bell will see playing time.

But football isn't basketball, the Lions aren't the Knicks, Detroit isn't New York and while both Lin and Bell have the benefit of playing with pretty solid teammates, Lin doesn't have to worry about being pounded play after play by 300lb defensive lineman and running behind an offensive line notorious for it's lack of run blocking ability (23rd in the NFL).

Who knows? The Lions are saying they expect Best and Leshoure to be back, fully recovered, and Kevin Smith wants to remain with the team. Despite all that, I don't see why Joique Bell couldn't crack that lineup and be the #2 back just by virtue of being able to stay healthy. He fits the Lions offensive scheme well.

Can he do it? Will it be as big as "Lin-sanity"? IDK. You just got to "Bell-ieve".
Posted in Sports, NFL
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  1. Old Comment
    SmashMouth's Avatar
    If the Saints did not have the "package of violence", Bell would be on the team.
    Posted 02-28-2012 at 09:21 AM by SmashMouth SmashMouth is offline

  2. Old Comment
    ... yeah, Ivory ... having Sproles, PT & Ingram on the roster didn't help any either ... the Saints were 'blessed' with an abundance of RB talent ...
    Posted 02-28-2012 at 03:50 PM by SloMotion SloMotion is offline
  3. Old Comment
    UPDATE: The first regular season touchdown of the Detroit Lions 2012 season was scored by none other then #35, Joquie Bell ... .
    Posted 09-10-2012 at 02:41 PM by SloMotion SloMotion is offline
  4. Old Comment

    Well, it hasn't exactly been "Bell-Sanity", but after Wk #14 and a 4-9 Lions record, a 5.4yds per carry rushing/9.7yds per reception average AND NO INJURIES, Joquie Bell has provide the Lions with something they haven't seen in a long time, a halfway decent, durable running back to compliment Matthew Stafford. Consistently noted as one of the pleasant surprises (not to this blogger, eh?) of the season.

    Keep up the good work, JB!
    Posted 12-14-2012 at 07:22 AM by SloMotion SloMotion is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Best #2 back in the NFL for 2012/2013. Way to tough it out, Joquie.
    Posted 01-07-2013 at 06:58 AM by SloMotion SloMotion is offline
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