clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Saints 2019 Year in Review: Vonn Bell

The promising safety truly came into his own this season.

Wild Card Round - Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Vonn Bell came into his fourth season with the New Orleans Saints looking to make it the best of his career and he certainly did just that. The Saints’ strong safety has always been a good run stopper at the back end of the defense and has consistently been a sure-handed tackler, but has lacked the interception touch he flashed in his days at Ohio State. Bell has never been a ballhawk and it is likely he never will be, but at his position, he doesn't need to be. He blitzes well and tackles well, he does exactly what Dennis Allen needs him to do.

New Orleans Saints v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Bell has been a valuable part of the Saints’ defensive “Buckeye Backfield” in the secondary, along with cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore and Eli Apple, and Bell has complimented their games, by doing the dirty work and laying down the hits when opponents have hit the second level of the defense. Bell may not be snagging picks in the secondary, but forcing and recovering fumbles have been a different story. His forced fumble numbers were solid again this season, and Bell recovered a fumble and returned it for a 33-yard touchdown in Seattle, followed by a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries against Dallas the following week. He may not catch them, but he’s keen at recovering them.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Bell was consistent in 2019, playing 100% of the defensive snaps in every game he played but one, Week 4 against Dallas, which was arguably his best game of the season, and he still played 98% of the snaps in that game. It wasn't until the end of the season that Bell missed time, missing Weeks 15, 16, and 17 of the regular season, yet returned for the playoffs, where a rare interception came on a pick-six that would have given the Saints the lead late in the fourth quarter before it was nullified by the referees. Tough break for everyone.

Vonn Bell finally recorded his first career interception in Week 11 at Tampa, and he finished the season with 86 combined tackles, 4 quarterback hits, 1.5 sacks, 1 interception, 5 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles, 6 fumbles recovered, and 1 touchdown. Not bad for a guy that had to fend off Kurt Coleman in a vote of wavering confidence just a season before. The 25 year-old now enters 2020 as an unrestricted free agent. Vonn Bell has proven he has the necessary skills to continue to be the Saints’ strong safety going forward, and it will be interesting to see if the Saints’ front office believe he is the right player to invest in for the immediate future.