In 2013 the Detroit Lions signed Reggie Bush from the Miami Dolphins. Bush, a 7 year veteran still running with the explosion and cut back ability he’d shown from his time at USC and in the NFL with the Saints and Dolphins, was slated to be the feature back in Jim Schwartz 2013 Lions team. A player that could catch passes and run between the tackles. A former #2 overall pick in the 2006 draft who would give the Lions running game some credibility and force some attention away from Calvin Johnson.

Bush’s backfield team mate, Joique Bell had gone undrafted out of Wayne State University (a Div 2 school) and bounced around 5 teams practice squads in his rookie year. Finally catching on with the Lions in 2012, whom he’d spent time working as a security guard for while in College. Bush was supposed to be the man in Detroit, a piece to push them to the NFC North title and beyond. Bell was to a be a power back alternative to Bush when the superstar needed relief. Facing into the 2015 season, Bush has now moved to another team in the process of a rebuild and Bell, with a new contract, is the man in Detroit.

Joique Bell meeting young fan Owen Murray (5) in Elverys Intersport Dundrum Shopping Centre
Joique Bell meeting young fan Owen Murray (5) in Elverys Intersport Dundrum Shopping Centre

Thursday week last, Bell was in Dublin to promote Elverys Sports launch of  NFL Jerseys and NFL Merchandise. Trips across the atlantic are becoming more frequent for NFL players and this stop off in Dublin shows that the NFL is paying attention to the potential for support (revenue) here! The Lions Back answered some questions from fans, signed autographs and afterwards sat down with a group of journalists and bloggers to talk about his career, his diet and….his hair!

He spoke about Reggie Bush, Bush was in New Orleans when Bell arrived in 2011, and spoke about his admiration for the veteran. Bush was the first one to come up and introduce himself to the young back and Joique relished the opportunity to repay the favour when Bush arrived in Detroit. We asked him, now with Bush gone, does he see himself as the leader of the group of running backs? “Definitely, I’m the old guy in the room” Bell is 28. “I’m that guy now, obviously the young guys look to me for leadership”

Being the “old guy” forces athletes to look to life after football and Bell was asked had he any plans in that regard. Being a guy who perhaps the NFL wasn’t guaranteed for, Bell finished college and got his degree before attempting to get picked up in the NFL. “Thats the good thing about me, I’ve got options. I’m going back to school to get my masters. I might sit down for a couple of years and just follow my sons high school career. I might go back into coaching but going back into coaching means a lot of man hours and I want to be able to spend time with my family when I’m done playing. I might go back to my sons high school and coach, watch my son play, watch him live his dream” Bells son is a running back, and he takes obvious pride in letting people know.

Bell spoke about how he and Reggie spilt the bill when they took their offensive line out for dinner in London during last years international series. “That was like a half years salary” The relationship between a back and the o-line is not lost on the humble Bell, who also brings breakfast for his o-line the Saturday before every home game.

Joique Bell (centre)  tries a bit of hurling encouraged by GAA stars Tomas 'Mossy'Quinn (left) and Jackie Tyrell in Elverys Intersport Dundrum Shopping Centre
Joique Bell (centre) tries a bit of hurling encouraged by GAA stars Tomas ‘Mossy’Quinn (left) and Jackie Tyrell in Elverys Intersport Dundrum Shopping Centre

The diet of professional athletes is always the subject of much wonder and Bell, perhaps being a guy who had to work that little bit harder to make it in the NFL spoke about the lengths he goes to to stay in top condition. “I have a lot of hair, I go to a place that makes customised vitamin pills, I cut off one go my locks and give it to them, they’ll analyse my hair and tell me the exact things that my diet is missing and they’ll customise vitamin packets that I should take daily” he didn’t stop there ” I do blood work. I take my blood send it to these scientists and they’ll tell me what food causes inflammation in my body. What foods I need to avoid, what foods I can eat. Everything down from meats, grain, all the way down to spices. I take all that into consideration, I pass it along to my chef and my nutritionist. They team up and make a meal plan for me. Thats the diet I keep myself strictly on”

Bell also spoke about the progress of Teddy Bridgewater in Minnesota. You can listen to the whole Q&A session here.

Bell is a back just hitting the prime and we’ll get another opportunity to see him play in London this season as the Lions take on the Chiefs, in the pick of the 3 games in Wembley on the on November 1st.

The purpose of Joiques trip was to promote Nikes Launch of NFL Jerseys in Elverys in Dundrum Shopping Centre in Dublin. The Jerseys were on sale here for €85 and included, Matthew Stafford #9 Colin Kaepernick #7 Aaron Rodgers #12 & Tom Brady #12. The AFC was a little underrepresented with only the Patriots and the Dolphins Jerseys available but Ryan Tannehills #17 Home Aqua Green Jersey was available.

Worth a note that €85 is likely the cheapest you’ll pay for a jersey outside the US and without the shipping cost it is a bargain for NFL fans in Ireland. What is even better, is if you are a 3 mobile phone customer (or you know one) Their Discount App the 3+ app available on iOS & Android includes a discount of 20% in Elverys making the Jerseys only €68 really making them the cheapest genuine Nike jerseys available anywhere!

Published by Steve McDonnell

Steve is the Editor of NFL-Ireland. A Green Bay Packers fan and a IAFL Coach and Player.