The Kenny Bell Hype

June 22nd, 2016
Underwear football stud.

Underwear football stud.

Joe gets a lot of flak for taking strong stands. Hey, no problem. Comes with the territory.

One strong stand Joe has is that good guy wide receiver Kenny Bell has yet to prove himself as a worthy member of a 53-man Bucs roster.

In a recent piece on, long-time Bucs beat guy Woody Cummings typed a few sentences on the worth of Bell.

Much to the chagrin of many of their fans and even some media critics, the Bucs passed on all opportunities to draft a speed receiver this year. Bell is the reason. The Bucs spent a fifth-round pick on Bell last year, and he justified the choice right up until he ripped a hamstring so bad during the 2015 preseason that he had to spend all of last year on injured reserve. Bell is back healthy now, and if he can play as he did in training camp last year, he’ll not only justify the Bucs’ decision to pass on receivers in the draft, he’ll open up an array of alignment options for the how the Bucs employ top pass catchers Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans.

Joe and Cummings wildly disagree. Joe didn’t think Bell had a good training camp at all. Oh, early on he sure did facing future landscapers and city code enforcers. When Bell practiced against the second- and first-team defenses, he vanished.

Yes, Bell tore a hamstring in 2015 preseason. Before that, he didn’t make one catch in a preseason game.

Joe really wants Bell to succeed. He’s the type of guy you want to root for and who doesn’t like the hair? Joe would love Bell to stretch defenses for America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston. Also, Joe would really like for Bell to be the gunner he was at Nebraska blowing up opponents’ returns.

First and foremost, Joe must evaluate hope for Bell by actually seeing something. Thus far, the only time Bell has stood out is in underwear football, like Tommy Streeter, Solomon Patton and Chris Owusu before him.

Underwear football is not real football.

Last year at cutdown time, Bell was very much a bubble player. Sometimes, Joe wonders what Bell’s fate would have been had the father of Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht not lobbied his son to draft Bell?

34 Responses to “The Kenny Bell Hype”

  1. Fsuking Says:

    Another bad Kenny Bell take. Kenny Bell was never, ever even remotely close to being cut last year. No idea where you got that information.

  2. Bucsfan4life Says:

    I thought bell looked good in the last day of minicamp. I also thought number 16 I think his name is freddo or Freddy Martinez looked good against banks. I know it’s just mini camp but I’ll take whatever I can get until September

  3. tmaxcon Says:


    the real question is where are you getting your information from. Are you drinking buddies with Licht… How can you be so convinced he was not on the bubble. I am a bell fan and pulling for him but he has done NOTHING yet to warrant the love he is receiving from some.

  4. Pickgrin Says:

    Its not a “strong stand” to keep reminding Bucs fans that Kenny Bell has not done much yet.

    His stat line in pre-season last year prior to the “hamstring that was ripped so badly” was – um – missing.

    To be fair though – Bell has looked good on the practice field. I watched him last year in training camp and he stood out a bit. If you look at his College tape – he stood out and made plays. A lot of them. He plays big for his size and is strong, physical and a good blocker. And he has what all NFL teams covet – legit speed. He’s the fastest guy on the field and will be given every opportunity and then some to develop into a starting Buccaneer receiver. Until then, he will be brought along as a role player in the offense and will likely make his biggest impact on special teams. Dude is a hell of a gunner on special teams coverage and may also win the kickoff return job as well.

    The hype and the hopes of all concerned that Bell will shine and realize his potential in the NFL is palpable. Bell is a likable guy and who doesn’t love the hair and the nickname…

    He WILL be a part of this team moving forward Joe – so I don’t think it would be wise to paint yourself into a corner on this guy.

    Johnny Football with the 7th pick in the 2014 draft?? Now THAT was a “strong stand” that you will rightfully continue to receive “flak” on.

  5. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Dirk Koetter, Mike Smith and the coaching staff, the players, they all are hype. We haven’t played a down yet and fans are talking about playing in a Super Bowl. I’m a Bucs fan, but I actually have to see us win some games before I get on the Hype Train.

  6. Buc1987 Says:

    Tmax…I’ve seen no such love. Hope for KB is all I’ve seen. I’ve also seen his college highlights that tell me you don’t give up on this kid after 1 rookie year in which he was sidelined with an injury.

    We all saw Joe’s faith in Glennon during his rookie season. Joe I think you’re too critical on rookies is what I’m saying. Just an observation.

  7. Buccfan37 Says:

    I sincerely hope Bell turns out to be special, man that will be great. Here we go Steelers er Bucs with the speedy deep ball threat. The hype has been pressurized, high flying or burst.

  8. tmaxcon Says:


    don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting he be cut but his first pass caught in a preseason game will be his first and we are going on year 2. I like bell. I want bell to succeed. My problem is so many fans on this site are acting like he is a proven player. We all witnessed how bad the offense was without vjax. The bucs basically have one proven weapon other than vjax and he has his issues obviously. bucs need weapons at wr… I am pulling for both humphries and bell but it’s a gamble that they turn out to be productive players. If Dye and Murphy back the roster bucs are in very bad shape at wr…. murhpy has done nothing his entire career he is a 5 or 6 that does not play special teams and is ALWAYS hurt… There is a reason the only bucs came calling the two years murphy was on the couch.

  9. BUC55 Says:

    The reason for the Kenny Bell hype is simple – TALENT!!!! Speed, quickness, intelligent team player. I saw every one of his games at Nebraska. This guy is a tremendous athlete who was always open in college. His biggest knock was too many drops. I think it’s the main reason he fell to the 5th round and wasn’t taken rd 2-3. He seems to be catching the ball ok in the pros.

    That BS about being on the bubble, isn’t almost everyone on the bubble who isn’t an established starter already?

  10. mike n Says:

    I hope he is the man otherwise I will forever blame Licht for going kicker instead of J Bullard in the 3rd and Pharoh Cooper in the 4th.

  11. Buccaneers Says:

    A lot of the hype may have something to do with the other players Licht has drafted. We have seen many players, via draft, make the team and make a impact on the field. We need another recievers badly so hope turns to hype. Hyping unproven players is a right of passage for a fan base.

  12. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Agree with 87 in terms of Joe being quick to judge players especially rookies. He’s been very wrong on most his QB assessments in that regard (draft or rookies). Bell is as proven as any WR we would have drafted – which is unproven potential.

    Agree with Joe that that’s all he is right now. We’ll see what happens.

  13. Buccaneers Says:

    Don’t worry mike we won’t have to draft a kicker again….in like forever

  14. Joe Says:

    Kenny Bell was never, ever even remotely close to being cut last year.

    So a No. 4 receiver (at best) was nowhere near being cut? Oh, OK. Never knew (at best) a No. 4 receiver anywhere to have such job security, but hey, things happen.

  15. Joe Says:

    He’s been very wrong on most his QB assessments in that regard (draft or rookies).

    Hhhmm. Let’s see:

    Thought Josh Freeman would have been a bust. What team is he playing for again?

    Thought Stewart McClown to be the biggest joke of a QB.

    Thought Jameis would be a stud.

    Yes, and just like Bill Polian and Gil Brandt, Joe thought Johnny Football would have been fantastic (frankly, he’s better than McClown). Joe also thought the Bucs would have been smart to draft Teddy Bridgewater or Derek Carr. Bridgewater thus far is OK (but he’s been in the playoffs). Carr looks to be fantastic.

    Eh, Joe’s proud of his batting average with quarterbacks.

  16. Joe Says:


    Agree. Watched a lot of his games at Nebraska. Shocked he lasted to the fifth round. He was dynamic.

    Problem is, he’s no longer in Lincoln.

    Look, Joe likes the guy a lot. Am rooting for him. Joe just has to have something to hang his hat on with Bell. “Looking good” in underwear football against UPS drivers and Home Depot assistant managers doesn’t cut it.

  17. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Kenny WAS on the bubble last year…but would probably have been added to the practice squad if he had not been injured.

    If healthy, after the injuries to other WRs, he may have been signed again during the season though.

    I agree with Joe that Kenny Bell has not earned anything. Yet. All he deserves is an opportunity. What he makes of it is up to him. Personally, I think he’ll do well. But it’s just hope at this point, because he has yet to shine.

    Props when Props are earned, people.

  18. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    lol. To be fair…you did avoid mentioning the failures. Like Johnny Football for one.

    That’s okay though. None of us, not even the guys who think they have to right to mock you, have any better records. It’s a crap shoot in the end.

  19. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Oh, and #4 WRs do have job security. it’s the #6 that doesn’t.

  20. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Lol everyone knows McCown was an old journeyman QB.

    Joe has liked basically every top rated rookie QB that has come out in the years in which the Bucs have needed QB. Very Jon Gruden in that regard if u watch his show with rookie QBs.

    As for Freeman; the guy was a franchise record setter with enormous potential but mentally lost it. Winston has been the prize in my eye since his debut game vs Pitt as a freshman.

    Just bustin ur balls joe . It’s a very slow time of the year

  21. Buc1987 Says:

    2016 projection : 550+ yards and 6 TD’s.

    Says : Me.

  22. feelthepewterpower Says:

    The Bell Brigade reporting for duty, Sir!

  23. gotbbucs Says:

    I take offense to that, Joe. I manage a landscape company and all of my guys can catch a football.

  24. Mike Johson Says:

    I’m jinda sick of the Kenny Bell Hyp. He looked real good last year in underwear football prior to his injury. Nut cutting time is approaching where the real ballers will be separated from the pretenders. Pads and hittin are on the menu. And if Bell wants to stick, he has to prove his durability. The clock is ticking and we shall fastly see what he will do. Good luck Mr. Bell. We are pulling for you or..your replacement.

  25. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Better to look good in underwear football than to not look good…..there is a potential silver lining here……Bell’s injury likely paved the way for Humphries last year….because Humphries would be the odd man out at the time.
    Dye only came into the picture after the injury to Murphy.

  26. Crimson King Says:

    You may not think that you’re biased/unfair/hating on Kenny Bell in your own mind…but you must understand how readers would think that, based on the fact that at least every other week we get another article about how Kenny Bell hasn’t done anything for the Tampa Bay Bucs and most likely never will. I mean, I know that this is the slow season and there isn’t really much to talk about, but good lord man…the Kenny Bell articles are getting a little ridiculous…bring some new information to the table rather than just rehashing your opinion over and over.

  27. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Buccaneerbonzaii – in case you aren’t aware Johnny Football was Manziel’s nickname. Joe specifically mentioned him because he knew what the troll meant when he made the comment. You saying he didn’t mention him just makes you look like an illiterate fool!

  28. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Hype for the sake of Hype! Means Doodle D Squat!

  29. Dreambig Says:

    Ok, lets be real here for a minute. Kenny Bell is a 5th round draft pick. Not 1st, not 2nd, not 3rd or even 4th. If he was that good he would have been drafted sooner. Most 5th round picks don’t stick around. The NFL is an elite league where it is even hard for the best of the best from college to make it. The fact that he dissapeared last preseason before he got hurt is even more troubling. I wish him all the luck in the world and I would love for him to make me eat my words but the odds are severly stacked against him making a huge impact in the NFL.

  30. Brent bull/buc Says:

    @ mike n you sound just like me. I’m real mad about that kicker pick. I wanted jarron reed and pharaoh cooper. I liked Bullard a lot to. He’s powerful. A lot of these dopes on this blog don’t realize how deep this draft was. Most analysts see cooper as a immediate playing time in a rotation. Same with Bullard or reed. I’ll never forget that pick. Even if lights others are great. Just blew my mind.

  31. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    Sure hope Ryan Smith pans out too, we passed on all those guys for him as well. I would of loved to see Pharoah Cooper in pewter & red. Bullard as well. Him and McCoy?? O ya.

  32. Owlykat Says:

    I think Murphy has a much better chance of being our dependable speed receiver who gets behind opposing Defenses than Bell and has proven his hands are better too. He is a proven Pro already too. All that said I am pulling for Bell to improve, and beat out stone hands Dontae Dye, who is too puny to be durable in the NFL.

  33. Dooshlarue Says:


    You were excited by McClown and his off the field throwing sessions with some of our receivers. Don’t you remember writing about that BEFORE the season started and we found out what a turd with great hair and a penchant for bawling like a little girl?

  34. Mo_Downs Says:

    It’s interesting that the hype coming from post camp pressers that Koetter mentioned the big 2 WR’s and, “Speedy”, the FA from Atlanta. It’s not hard to knock Joe for reading between the lines and separating “camp gossip” from “Koetter-Speak”.

    There is no sentimentality in building the Bucs 2016 roster. That would be wise advice for fans, like me, who think that KB has already made the 2016 roster. The reality of the 2016 Bucs is that they need the best possible players on the roster. This is Koetter’s first year and he HAS to improve PPG and WINS, period.

    I also think the sentimental roster spot, if such a thing exists, may be occupied by a “slower” V-Jax coming back from knee surgery. I’d bet against V-Jax being as good or as healthy as he was in 2015. The WR’s kept on the roster will have to include someone who can fill-in for V-Jax, early and often, and have the potential to be as productive when given the opportunity.

    The question for Buc fans is: Who among the WR’s in camp could be as productive as V-Jax if he becomes injured or limited to being a part-time player…????