Arguably one of the best players to ever suit up for Dickson County has found a new home.
Walt Bell, former Maryland and Florida State Offensive Coordinator, and UMASS Head Coach has been hired by Tom Allen as the OC/QB coach at Indiana.
Bell will now be tasked with revitalizing an Indiana offense that has ranked near the bottom of the Big10 in recent years.
He has proven to be capable of doing so, however, having coached multiple NFL players at both the RB and QB position.
Bell coached current Carolina Panthers receiver, D.J. Moore, at Maryland. Moore was the 2017 Big Ten Receiver of the Year and broke Maryland’s record for single-season receptions that same year with 80. Moore was the first wide receiver selected in the 2018 NFL Draft.
He also coached multiple NFL running backs during his coaching stops, including Jake Funk and Cam Akers of the Los Angeles Rams, J.D. McKissic of the Washington Football Team, and Ty Johnson of the New York Jets.
As a former WR at MTSU, it can be expected that Bell knows how to get the best out of skill guys.
Everyone at Indiana will want to know what he can do for their QB situation.
Across all of his coaching stops as an offensive coordinator and his time as head coach at Massachusetts, Bell’s quarterbacks completed 56.22% of their passes. That number only jumps to 56.46% if you just include his time with Power Five teams.
That being said, if you break down individual performances and years you see trends.
Perry Hills, the starting quarterback at Maryland in 2016 under Bell, led the conference in completion percentage in 2016 with 61.9%.
As well while Indiana junior quarterback Michael Penix Jr. had play-action called for less than 30% of the time, only one of Bell’s seven starting quarterbacks was under 30%.
Possibly the best news for IU Qb’s and their WR’s, Indiana’s yards after catch plummeted when Nick Sheridan took over from Mike DeBoer following the 2019 season, dropping from 6.3 YAC per reception to 4.9 in two years. Under Bell, receivers average 6.2 YAC. When only including Bell’s work at Power Five schools, that number slightly jumps to 6.3.
There is no clear favorite for the starting QB job heading into next season, that should be priority number one for Bell.
Figure out who on the roster can start for you, or go make a roster addition via signing day or the transfer portal.