And what we found out from hearing what the running backs are saying, a lot of that talk is about Le’Veon Bell.
Here is a sampling of what is being said.
James Conner, University of Pittsburgh running back:
Conner, who dropped his weight from 245 this past season to around 233, said he watched Le’Veon Bell and knows that many coaches in the NFL like running backs to come in lighter.
“He is a phenomenal runner, one of the best in the NFL. For me to match up with his numbers, I feel like I am headed in the right direction.”
“Just be yourself, have fun with it, enjoy the process,” said Conner. “He knows I’ve overcome a lot. I know that too. Phenomenal guy, just blessed to have that relationship with Ben.”
Christian McCaffrey, Stanford running back:
“Social media is so crazy now-a-days you can really get in touch with anybody,” said McCaffrey. “One time he kind of hit me up on Twitter. I started picking his brain on some plays, sent him some clips because he's a heck of a running back, somebody I like to model part of my game after. He's been very helpful.
“You watch him run and see how patient he is and that's really where I pull a lot of that from. Watching him sit behind the line of scrimmage and kind of
dissect the defense, and as soon as he sees the hole he's exploding through it.”
Brian Hill, Wyoming running back
Hill has been described as being a patient runner, but admits he isn’t in the same realm as Bell when it comes to that trait.
“I wouldn’t say I am as patient as him,” said Hill. “But I know my offensive line well. I know the blocking schemes and what they are doing on every play. I just try to work off their blocks really. If their job is to kick someone out, I play off that. That’s probably one of the biggest things about my game. I know my offense well, and I am willing to learn.”
Kareen Hunt, Toledo running back
Hunt said he has never talked to Bell, but he enjoys watching him and likes his style of play.
“He’s got a different mindset,” said Hunt. “He sets it up pretty good. He sees things before. I like the way he’s going to set up his blockers. He makes the defenders think he’s going one way and he’s going to go the whole opposite way, and I like that about him. He’s got a great cut and balance and he’s a strong, tough running back.”