The Bell countdown

The waiting has begun for Mike Bell.

The Saints have 7 days to match the offer sheet the restricted free agent running back signed with the Eagles last night.

"It does make it a strange and long week, but I feel like I'm in a perfect situation; both teams are Super Bowl-caliber teams," Bell said. "Just in case New Orleans does (match) the tender, I'm good to go .... If they decide not to, I'm on another Super Bowl-quality team."

Bell said he "hasn't really talked to the Saints since the season ended" and has no idea if they will match.

The Saints tendered Bell at the lowest level, meaning they would get no compensation if he signed with the Eagles.

Bell gained 86 yards on 17 carries in Week 2 against the Eagles. He said what he remembers best about that game, though, is that he suffered an MCL sprain in the fourth quarter that sidelined him the next 2 weeks.

"My season never really was the same after that," he said.

Bell agreed he has experience picking up tough yards. He said he is a willing but relatively inexperienced pass blocker, since Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas got most of those snaps in New Orleans.

Here is more from Bell:

On why this is attractive from a football standpoint:
“Just from the history of this team, the history of the coach and just the winning attitude that this team has. I think they’ve been in the playoffs consistently within the past five years and I’m ready to be a part of something big. I think this organization definitely has the players to do it.”

On whether he feels he will compete for a starting spot now that RB LeSean McCoy is back and RB Brian Westbrook is gone:
“Right now I’m just coming here to prove myself. I haven’t really shown anything. I was in a rotation last year with a bunch of great backs. Right now I’m just coming here and establish myself on special teams and show the coach that I can play special teams and just work my way in and allow the coach to find a role for me wherever they see fit. I know the running backs over here last year played great, so I’m definitely not trying to come in here and cause no type of controversy if anything. I just want to come in here and them help me and me help them and we just come out here and make the team better.”

On playing in a running back rotation:
“Just being in New Orleans allowed me to become so unselfish. I saw what an unselfish football team can do. It took us all the way to the Super Bowl and that’s the mentality the running backs had. We knew that we all excelled in different areas and we knew we could help the team in different areas. [Saints Head] Coach [Sean] Payton knew the areas that we excelled in, so he put us in situations to be successful. I know that it keeps everyone fresh, it keeps everybody hungry, willing to compete and perform. So, I think it’s a good thing to do because everybody stays healthy throughout the whole year.”

On catching out of the backfield:
“I think that me catching the ball will open it up for me in the run game. I can catch the ball if you go back and look at the tapes.”

On the West Coast Offense and whether it will be hard to learn:
“From talking with the coaches, it’s real similar to what I ran in New Orleans. The run-blocking schemes are pretty much identical; different terminology. The passing game is real, real similar; real similar. The only thing, I’m just going to have to change the verbiage of it. For the most part, it’s real similar. I’m a fast learner, so I think I’ll be alright.”

On picking up the blitz in the backfield and whether that is something he has experience with:
“I haven’t and it’s not because I can’t, it’s just because of the situation. [Saints RB] Reggie [Bush] and Pierre [Thomas] are both great in the passing games so you want to keep them on the field as much as possible. I just was never in there for an opportunity to pick up blocking. That doesn’t mean I can’t do it because I can and will do it.”



The Saints' intentions might be clear with a report from WWL-TV that running back Justin Fargas is visiting New Orleans. Fargas visited the Eagles last week, but left without a contract offer.


Defensive end Darryl Tapp, acquired by the Eagles in a trade with Seattle, had this to say to his fans in Seattle and also to Eagles fans via Twitter: "Thanks for everything 12th man, great team, place and fans. New oppurtunity here I come Philly wit my lunchpail in hand."


On the day the Eagles and Seahawks made a trade, the Seahawks signed former Eagles linebacker Matt McCoy. McCoy spent the past two seasons with Tampa Bay.


Former Eagles safety Sean Jones finalized a 2-year deal with Tampa Bay and is expected to contend for a starting spot. 


Washington has agreed to a 1-year deal with quarterback Rex Grossman, ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting. Grossman played in one game for Houston last year after playing six seasons with Chicago.