Who can blame him? He’s already played for head coach Jim Caldwell (in Indianapolis), offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi (in New Orleans), tight ends coach/assistant head coach Ron Prince (in Indianapolis), offensive line coach Terry Heffernan (at Wayne State and Detroit) and running backs coach Curtis Modkins (in Buffalo and Detroit).
“I had Coach (Jim Caldwell) my rookie year, had coach (Joe) Lombardi my second year, had Coach (Curtis) Modkins my rookie year,” Bell said. “Then the tight end coach (Ron Prince), had him. O-line coach (Terry Heffernan), had him at Wayne State, so I wouldn’t really call it a new staff.
“So, basically I’ve got all my old coaches here and the funny thing is I think I’m like a magnet because I’m just drawing back everybody that used to be a part of my career. But it was a good deal.”
The Lions made sure Bell would get to know this coaching staff even better when they officially signed him to a three-year, $9.3 million deal on Wednesday with $4.3 million guaranteed.
Bell says the one thing coach Caldwell will command right away is the respect of his players. Bell says Lions players will want to play for him.
“I’ve never heard coach Caldwell raise his voice, similar to coach Lombardi at the Saints organization,” Bell said. “I mean, he’s not too much of a yelling coach. It’s more like, ‘We’re going to do it this way and if you can’t do it this way, then you’ll have to find another team.’
“He’s a man you don’t want to mess up for because you don’t want to disappoint him. I’d rather have my mom mad at me than disappointed at me. You feel me? So, it’s kind of a similar thing."
Lombardi spent the last seven years in New Orleans and the last five as Drew Bress’ quarterback coach. Bell said in his short time in New Orleans before the Lions signed him off the Saints’ practice squad, he could tell Lombardi had a mind for football.
“Offensively, his play-calling, how he deals with his team,” Bell said when asked why he used the term brilliant to describe Lombardi.