Ring The Bell

Mike Bell (Getty Images)

As originally reported by Scout.com, the Houston Texans bolstered their backfield by signing former Broncos running back Mike Bell. Although Bell doesn't have overly impressive career numbers (680 yds., 4.2 ypc., 8 TD's), he is familiar with Alex Gibbs zone-blocking scheme.

The signing of Bell likely came as a reaction to running back Chris Brown's seemingly chronic back injuries. Texans head coach Gary Kubiak commented on Brown's absence—

"Well, I mean, naturally I want him out here playing and competing and getting ready to go with this team. It's just something we got to deal with. I think a lot of Chris (Brown) as a player and a person. It's just unfortunate that this has happened but we're going to do everything we can to get him right. It would be easy sit here and say I hope he's out here tomorrow but we're probably looking at a few days if this injection goes good. Am I disappointed he's not on the field? Yes. I'm not disappointed in Chris (Brown); I just know he can help this team. We got to make sure we get him right."

Bell, who played fullback mostly last season, will be only playing running back this season which means Houston will likely have to release or move one of the other backs on the roster. Chris Taylor is expected to play fullback and running back this season.

According to Scout.com NFL Expert Adam Caplan, Bell fell out of favor with Denver head coach Mike Shanahan last season who refused to let him play running back. While it's not known exactly what Shanahan's problem was with Bell, it's believed Bell did two things to upset Shanahan.

Bell had a few fumbles during pre-season games and ball security had become an issue for him. He also complained to the media about his reduced role and having to change positions. Finally, a league source told Scout.com that the Baltimore Ravens also had interest in Bell.

Kubiak went on to talk about the zone-blocking scheme that Mike Bell is so familiar with, from his days in Denver—

"We've been doing it. We came in here and we were doing it and teaching it. The calls haven't changed a lick. We brought the expert in here to make sure we're doing it the right way. If anything, we've cut back but our players are familiar with it and getting more and more familiar with it every day. The thing we want to do with running the ball…we want to back off, get simpler, cut down on plays and get good at the one's we're going to run."

Houston may not be done shopping for running backs as they worked out a back with a famous last name today. David Washington, son of actor Denzel Washington worked out with the team, according to Adam Caplan.

John David Washington, formerly of Morehouse College, spent last season on the St. Louis Rams practice squad. The 5'10", 200 lb. running back has average speed and set a Morehouse College record by rushing for 1198 yards with 13 touchdowns as a senior. Washington just turned 24 years old on Monday.

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