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Player Spotlight: Byron Bell vs the Colts

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Taking a look at how the tackle-turned-guard played against the division rival.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

One of the guys we didn't hear too much about last game was Titans' left guard Byron Bell. Usually for an offensive lineman, its a good thing his name wasn't pointed out too often.

He was quick to call himself out however for the failed two point conversion play, taking responsibility for his awful block:

"Put it all on me. Don't put it on anybody else. If I do a better job on that, we get in the end zone. I'm not going to point any fingers at anybody. You can point it at me and on my shoulders."

Its great to see him hold himself accountable, as he did allow the gaps to close in, but the whole line struggled on that play.

I think the move to left guard has helped Bell but there's no doubt its a work in progress.  With that in mind, I wanted to review his Indy tape.

Its easy to see what the Titans like about him. Even compared to offensive linemen the man is big. When he gets that locks in with a lineman, he uses his weight effectively to hold his own.

In the example below, he drops back just a bit before engaging the Colts' end. He gets a little help when the DE gets his leg tangled with Schwenke's, but overall I really liked this play from Bell.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/Q34Vrl0EgO">https://t.co/Q34Vrl0EgO</a></p>&mdash; Daniel R (@DanielR_MCM) <a href="https://twitter.com/DanielR_MCM/status/649306170843365376">September 30, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Similarly we saw him lock in here with success:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/4V5rUhbPqf">https://t.co/4V5rUhbPqf</a></p>&mdash; Daniel R (@DanielR_MCM) <a href="https://twitter.com/DanielR_MCM/status/649310156468133888">September 30, 2015</a></blockquote>

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There are times when he's beaten early and that usually leads to major problems. On the next play here, he gets his hand on the DE but his opponent already has been able to get him turned to the side. Fortunately Mariota hit an open read quickly.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/Zl7zdDvQtf">https://t.co/Zl7zdDvQtf</a></p>&mdash; Daniel R (@DanielR_MCM) <a href="https://twitter.com/DanielR_MCM/status/649308241726414848">September 30, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Against a three man front Bell often had to decide where to pitch in, as the three DL usually attacked the two tackles and center. I thought Bell did a good job identifying who to block. He knows his responsibilities in the pass game.

The below play is a four man front so its not a perfect example. The two interior linemen run a stunt and Bell picks up his man. I wish he didn't lose leverage at the end of the play but overall he got the job done.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/di1MBLYHEI">https://t.co/di1MBLYHEI</a></p>&mdash; Daniel R (@DanielR_MCM) <a href="https://twitter.com/DanielR_MCM/status/649308154875019265">September 30, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Brian Schwenke and Bell did a great job on that play to each pick up their man. Sometimes, Bell looks worse because of Schwenke and it happens on this play:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/QT9thHZw1i">https://t.co/QT9thHZw1i</a></p>&mdash; Daniel R (@DanielR_MCM) <a href="https://twitter.com/DanielR_MCM/status/649308840069042180">September 30, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Bell picks up the DE but David Parry gets past Schwenke and ends up running into Bell along the way. Bell loses him and so Parry gets the sack.

Here's just a fun example of Byron Bell using his strength and power to throw down a linemen:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/VFMPSeknlX">https://t.co/VFMPSeknlX</a></p>&mdash; Daniel R (@DanielR_MCM) <a href="https://twitter.com/DanielR_MCM/status/649309105446854657">September 30, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Bell overall had a pretty good game against the Colts. He'll probably remember it for the failed two point conversion but there was a lot more positive than negative in this matchup. Next up is the Bills, who should present Bell and the whole offensive line their toughest challenge yet. The Titans will need that unit to keep Marcus Mariota clean to have a chance.