October 30, 2015

Highlighted Year: Greg Bell, 1988

Running Back, Los Angeles Rams

Age: 26
5th season in pro football, 1st complete with Rams
College: Notre Dame
Height: 5’10” Weight: 210

Bell had an injury-riddled college career but still was chosen by the Buffalo Bills in the first round (26th overall) of the 1984 NFL draft. He made an impact as a rookie, rushing for 1100 yards, including 206 in an upset of the Cowboys, and catching 34 passes, and was selected to the Pro Bowl. Bell followed up with another productive season in 1985, gaining 883 yards on the ground and catching 58 passes for another 576 yards and a total of 1459 yards from scrimmage. However, injuries limited him to six games and 377 rushing yards in ’86 and Bell was dealt to the Rams as part of the three-team trade that sent RB Eric Dickerson to the Colts during the strike-interrupted 1987 season. He saw little action while RB Charles White had a big year in Dickerson’s place, but with White missing time in 1988, Bell moved to the forefront.

1988 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 288 [6]
Most attempts, game – 31 (for 112 yds.) at NY Giants 9/25
Yards – 1212 [4]
Most yards, game – 155 yards (on 21 carries) at Atlanta 10/9
Average gain – 4.2
TDs – 16 [1]
100-yard rushing games – 5

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 24
Most receptions, game – 4 (for 24 yds.) vs. Phoenix 10/2
Yards – 124
Most yards, game – 24 (on 4 catches) vs. Phoenix 10/2
Average gain – 5.2
TDs – 2

TDs – 18 [1]
Points – 108 [9, tied with Chuck Nelson]

Postseason: 1 G (NFC Wild Card playoff at Minnesota)
Rushing attempts – 17
Rushing yards – 91
Average gain rushing – 5.4
Rushing TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
NFL Comeback Player of the Year: AP

Rams went 10-6 to finish second in the NFC West and qualified for a Wild Card playoff slot while leading the conference in scoring (407 points). Lost NFC Wild Card playoff to Minnesota Vikings (28-17).

Bell followed up by rushing for 1137 yards in 1989 and again leading the league in rushing touchdowns with 15. But he did not get along well with teammates or the front office and, when he threatened to hold out in ’90, he was traded to the Raiders. Bell appeared in just six games due to an ankle injury and rushed for 164 yards in what ended up being his last active season. He was released the following preseason and retired after being let go by Green Bay prior to the 1992 season. Overall, Bell rushed for 4959 yards on 1204 carries (4.1 avg.) and caught 157 passes for 1307 yards (8.3 avg.), scoring a total of 58 touchdowns. Of those totals, 2375 rushing yards and 31 TDs, came with the Rams. He was chosen to one Pro Bowl. 


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970