An unlikely name keeps popping up during New Orleans Saints games this season. No, it’s not Marshon Lattimore, Demario Davis, or Cameron Jordan. It’s fourth year safety Vonn Bell, who continues to make plays for this defense. Bell has been much maligned for his less than average coverage skills, but this season, he is putting it all together. Vonn Bell is powering the New Orleans Saints defense this season, and has been the most consistent player in a talented secondary.
Vonn Bell Powering New Orleans Saints Defense This Season
Of the two safeties the Saints primarily use, Marcus Williams and Vonn Bell, Bell is the better tackler and run defender. Bell provides and adds a physical presence the Saints want and need from the safety position. Last season, Bell was one of the highest rated run defenders at the safety position.
#Saints Vonn Bell ranked third among 90 qualifying Safeties this season with an 88.2 run defense grade.
— PFF NO Saints (@PFF_Saints) February 12, 2019
The Saints depend on Bell to be the extra man in the box on run plays, and Bell continues to deliver. Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen knows he can count on Bell to make a play should a running back or receiver makes it past the front seven.
Vonn Bell is in no way perfect in coverage. At times, he picks up flags, and can be over aggressive. However, as a Saints fan or member of the organization, it is a welcoming sight to see how well Bell is covering receivers and tight ends. This play from preseason shows how much improvement Bell has shown, from blowing coverage to being in position to make plays.
How ’bout ballhawk play from @Vonn?? ?
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) August 18, 2019
And if there is doubt whether or not Bell continues to improve every season, check out his overall Pro Football Focus rating from 2017 to 2018.
We posted about it earlier, but we’ll do it again – here are some of the most improved #Saints of 2018:
— PFF NO Saints (@PFF_Saints) February 28, 2019
When the Saints have needed a play in crunch time, who seems to make the play? Vonn Bell has sent one game to overtime with a sack (Washington Redskins in 2018), ended a playoff game against the Carolina Panthers in 2017, and this season, he is forcing or recovering turnovers.
?? Vonn Bell making Peanut Tillman proud somewhere ?????
— Fanatics View (@fanaticsview) December 18, 2018
The Saints sack Cam Newton and are moving on! pic.twitter.com/Fp4WskSaO3
— Eric Rosenthal (@ericsports) January 8, 2018
And Bell’s ability to be a ball-hawk didn’t happen over night. The former Ohio State standout made plays to help seal games as a college athlete.
Vonn Bell named B1G Defensive Player of the Week.
— Erik Elken (@ErikElken) November 9, 2015
This season is no different. Good football players have a nose for the ball. Bell fits the bill. And it comes as no surprise through four games, Bell has three fumble recoveries (two against the Dallas Cowboys), one forced fumble and one touchdown. Bell is also leading the team in total tackles with 31, and solo tackles with 10.
The @Saints force another Cowboys fumble just before the half.
— NFL (@NFL) September 30, 2019
Vonn Bell now has three fumble recoveries in the past five quarters. That includes a touchdown and forced fumble.
— Rod Walker (@RodWalkerNola) September 30, 2019
What a turn of events on this play for the Saints ? pic.twitter.com/Qn77AcZXqb
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 22, 2019
Vonn Bell is undoubtedly the most improved defensive player on the Saints roster. Every season Bell adds or improves an element of his game, and it is paying huge dividends as the Saints march on without Drew Brees.