Ravens LB: It Helped That Steelers Didn't Have Bell

The Ravens beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh this past Sunday – and Le'Veon Bell's absence was a factor

Taz and the Moose
October 04, 2018 - 9:31 am

USA Today Images


When Baltimore Ravens linebacker Kenny Young was preparing for the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, he noticed something very quickly.

“Watching them on film, it was very helpful that they didn’t have Bell playing,” Young said on Taz & The Moose. “That was a big plus for us for the run game.”

Indeed, not having to account for arguably the best running back in football is a plus for any defense. Bell’s replacement, James Conner, rushed nine times for 19 yards. The Ravens won, 26-14, in Pittsburgh and held the Steelers (1-2-1) scoreless in the second half.

“The guy that they have, he’s a good back as well,” Young said. “It was a great fight. But for us, we’re trying to take this thing to another level. It was a great early season win for us.”

Indeed, the Ravens (3-1) have been one of the most complete teams in football through the first month of the season. They rank fifth in scoring offense (30.8 points per game) and are tied for third in scoring defense (16.3 points per game).

Baltimore will go for 4-1 this Sunday at Cleveland at 1 p.m. ET. The Browns (1-2-1) have been far more competitive this season, as Baker Mayfield is showing why he was the No. 1 pick in the Draft.

“Great guy,” Young said. “He has great instincts, a good arm. I think you have to look at the things the guy does well and look at the things the guy doesn’t do well, and you adjust off of that. That’s just the way the game is. The game is made at the pro level from shoulders above. It’s all about who can outsmart each other. The people that can do that and execute the most throughout the game, that’s ultimately the people that win. That's what professional sports is: Guys that are smart and can attack each other mentally at a higher level. That's what makes the game.”

Mayfield, who won the Heisman Trophy last season, has completed 59.4 percent of his passes for 496 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

“Baker Mayfield is a good guy,” said Young, a fourth-round pick out of UCLA. “I never played against him in college, but I’ve watched hm. He has a lot of energy. Kudos to that guy. We just have to go out, execute, another divisional game we have to play, and fight to get this win.”

Young was also asked about his former college teammate, Josh Rosen, who is starting in Arizona.

“He has Peyton Manning IQ,” Young said. “He’s going to become a leader one day. I think he’s a guy that loves to listen and loves to grow. He’s a sponge. He’ll soak in all the information he needs to get where he needs to be. I know right now he’s nowhere close to where he wants to be, but he’ll be that in three years. Great guy. One of the greatest young quarterbacks I’ve ever been around.”