Coach Adam Gase said Tuesday before the team's first practice session that he's not worried about Bell -- who hasn't participated in a club-related football activity in about 18 months -- being in shape. The coach noted, however, that the team will be "selective" in how much they work their new running back this week.
"We'll be smart just because he hasn't been here," Gase said. "I know he's been working out. I'm not really worried about him being in shape, it's more just kind of football -- getting back to that, getting used to terminology, kind of what we're doing. Really, this is going to be big for him to get used to the individual route we're going to be doing on the field; him kind of getting used to the practice routine that we're going to be doing, so the next few days will be a great opportunity for him to do that. We'll get him into practice as far as the actual competition part of it -- we'll just be very selective of what we'll put him in."
Gase added he's not concerned about Bell getting up to speed on his offense, noting that it's everyone's first year running the system. The coach expects the dual-threat back to pick up the offense quickly during the three days of minicamp.
Getting Bell on the field will allow the team to begin figuring out how to mesh the running back's unique skillset with the offense Gase envisions for New York.
"Any time that we can work on the field, it's great for the coaches," Gase said. "I think it's good for the other guys as well because you get used to guys' running styles. We all know he has a unique running style, that patience that he has and for me to get used to what he likes, that communication of him saying 'I'm not really a big fan of this, but I love doing this,' and just that constant communication just in person that helps a play-caller; I think it helps the line, the quarterback and just kind of getting used to the communication those two guys have -- that's critical. ... There's a lot of little tiny details that you really can accomplish when in person compared to just talking through a meeting or talking on the phone or through text message."
Jets coaches will have three full days to work with Bell on the field this week before sessions turn back to voluntary OTAs next week.