When training camp opens for the NFC East at the end of July, there are plenty of questions that will need to be answered.
How will the Dallas Cowboys look without DeMarco Murray handling the brunt of the load? How will the Philadelphia Eagles deal with adding Murray to the fold along with everybody else after a crazy offseason of wheeling and dealing? Will Robert Griffin III finally return to form after a pair of ugly seasons?
The Cowboys enter the season as the favorite in the NFC East, but winning back-to-back titles in the division hasn’t been easy. The Eagles reigned over the division for four straight years from 2001-04, and since then, no team has been able to repeat as champion.
In the last four years, each of the four teams have had a turn atop the NFC East and there are three teams hungry to dethrone the Cowboys and recapture the division title.
He began to fine-tune his new style as soon as 2013, when, before the draft, he and longtime trainer Pete Bommarito looked to drop weight to enhance his quickness. Bommarito was wowed the moment Bell caught passes in running-back-vs.-safety drills. His hands and body-contortion abilities could make him an elite receiver if he had focused on that position full time.
The NFL was fine with Bell at 230. But he could maintain his strength at a lighter, more explosive weight. “Power back was the label. But we knew — and he knew — he was more than that,” Bommarito says. “The great ones are psychologically tough enough to trust the knee and do everything I asked. He just goes. My biggest issue is holding him back.”