Jets’ Bell, Gase clear air over RB’s usage in loss

NFL

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Upset with his lack of involvement last Sunday, New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell texted coach Adam Gase after the game and later vented his frustrations in a conversation with the coach.

Bell shared his feelings in his Thursday media session, saying he and Gase are “fine” and that he expects to have more touches Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. He had only nine carries and three catches in this past Sunday’s 29-15 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

This comes in a turmoil-filled week for the Jets (1-6), whose star safety — Jamal Adams — accused general manager Joe Douglas of going “behind my back” and shopping him in trade talks.

Unlike Adams, who ripped Douglas on social media, Bell didn’t make any impulsive comments. He said he avoided reporters after the game because he was afraid his anger would result in an unwanted headline.

“Yeah, I was frustrated, so I didn’t want to be in front of the media and say something that everybody could run with,” Bell said. “I was frustrated. We lost the game and I didn’t feel like I was involved. Plus, I feel like that was a game we kind of let go. I didn’t want to say anything I would regret because I was angry at the time.”

Stuck behind an inconsistent offensive line, Bell is averaging a career-low 3.2 yards per carry — 349 yards on 109 rushes, with only one touchdown.

Despite the lack of production, and the losing, Bell has remained positive. This was the first time he showed any degree of frustration.

“I expressed the way I felt to coach Gase and things like that,” he said. “We had a good little talk. I want to be one of the main reasons for helping the team win. I don’t like not being used and we end up losing the game. I felt like I couldn’t help my team out.

“So we had that conversation. Hopefully, things are better from here on out. Obviously, I want to help my team win. That’s why I came here in the first place. I want to be involved and I want to help the team win games.

“I’m not upset at all if I’m not touching the ball and we’re winning, but we haven’t been winning and I haven’t been able to help. That’s why I had to express a little bit, but we’ll be fine.”

Bell said they have “a better game plan for me to get more involved this week, so it should be fun.”

The Dolphins (0-7) have the 31st-ranked run defense, yielding 160 yards per game. If Bell can’t get untracked against them, it will be an ominous sign. Gase, presiding over the league’s 32nd-ranked offense, acknowledged that he under-utilized Bell in Jacksonville.

“Last week was bad,” Gase said. “That was on me.”

The Jets signed Bell to a four-year, $52.5 million contract, expecting him to be the centerpiece of their offense. But it hasn’t worked out that way, as they have scored more than 16 points in only one game.

Bell said he doesn’t regret his decision to sign with the Jets, adding that he embraces the process of turning things around. He also said he wasn’t offended that his name came up in trade talks. The Jets didn’t shop Bell, Douglas said, but he received interest from other teams.

“Obviously, things aren’t sunny and roses right now, but it will get better,” Bell said. “When it does, it will feel that much better. … Once we put it all together, I feel like this team will be scary.”

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