A lot of athletes are superstitious. They have odd game-day routines involving food, clothing, music – you name it.
Well, Joique Bell has a pretty simple one: he talks to his mom.
“Yeah, we talk before every game,” the Lions running back said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “No matter how big I get, I’m going to be my mama’s baby, I guess. You can’t tell a mother to stop doing certain things.”
Bell certainly made his mother proud this past Sunday, rushing 18 times for a game-high 74 yards and a touchdown in a 17-3 win over the Vikings.
“We just wanted to win and we came out victorious,” Bell said. “There are a couple things we need to work on, but we’re going to get those things worked out. But for the most part, it’s good to be home. It’s good to be 4-2 and leading the division.”
The Lions have won three of their last four games and will have plenty of motivation to beat the Saints (2-3) at Ford Field this Sunday. Why’s that, you ask? Because both Bell and Reggie Bush played for New Orleans. Bush, 29, payed there from 2006 to 2010, and Bell, 28, played there from 2010 to 2011.
The Saints traded Bush and released Bell.
“At the end of the day, it’s a business – and they did what they thought was the best business move for them, and I did what I thought was the best business move for me,” Bell said. “I’m going to leave it at that.”
As an NFL player, Bell said you get up for every game – but sometimes, certain games just mean a little bit more.
“It’s going to be a good game,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
The Lions, who have the top-ranked pass defense and second-ranked rush defense in the NFL, certainly look like a tough team this year, especially after disappointing finishes in 2013 (7-9) and 2012 (4-12).
“We’ve been around each other more and just building that team chemistry,” Bell said. “I don’t think we had enough of that last year. I think we just took what we had last year and built on that this year. So you see a lot of team chemistry, a lot of people being with each other off the field. You can just see it. You can sense it in the air.”
But why are things different under Jim Caldwell? How do bad habits become good habits?
“We’re pros,” Bell said. “The only way you can stop (bad habits) is to put more emphasis on the mistakes you make in practice. I think the one thing the coaches are doing better this year than what we’ve done in the past is putting an emphasis on what the problems are as far as penalties and turnovers. Last game, we didn’t have a lot of big plays, but (we didn’t commit any turnovers). We won the turnover margin by three. Whenever you can be on the front end of the turnover margin, a lot of good things can happen.”