After his junior year, Quinton Bell did something most college players with one year left of eligibility and draft hopes never do, he made a position switch. Bell, a former track star, transitioned from wide receiver to defensive end his senior year, putting up 46 total tackles including 10 of them for a loss to go with 7.5 sacks.
How Bell got to Tampa as a Linebacker
Bell was drafted in the seventh round of the 2019 draft by the Oakland Raiders and stuck around on the practice squad until October when he was released. About two weeks later, he signed with the Buccaneers practice squad and made yet another position change, this time to outside linebacker. Following the conclusion of the year, they signed him to a futures contract for the 2020 season.
Bell on Who He Looks Up to as a Linebacker
Bell says he feels like outside linebacker is his true position and feels more natural to him and that he’s adapted and been able to take coaching to improve. Learning from guys like Jason Pierre Paul and Shaquil Barrett has really helped him a lot.
“They helped me a lot with the pass-rushing department, they helped me use my speed better. They’re guys that aren’t necessarily known for their speed but their moves and abilities to get to the quarterback. They’re helping me use ways to condense my speed and use it to my advantage as well as critique my craft.”
In his second season with the Buccaneers, Bell is looking to make an impact. He aims to be a key special teams player, but also has a role on defense saying,
“I have tools that not a lot of people have with my size and speed and ability. I want to be able to use that to impact my team on defense as well.”
As far as players he models his game after, he has followed Von Miller, Khalil Mack, and most recently, teammate Shaquil Barrett, guys who have the speed or similar body type.
Playing with Tom Brady
Playing with Tom Brady still feels unreal to him but he is looking forward to going up against him in practice and to get knowledge from him. With the addition of Rob Gronkowski, Bell said,
“I’ll probably have to go against him as an outside linebacker vs tight end. Being able to have those kind of players in practice to go up against is great for our defense, great for our team and can help us in every aspect of the game.”
Although he’s excited about what the season could bring, he knows that his job is to be ready for the opportunity. Bell said,
“when this thing gets rolling I need to make sure I’m there, I’m polished up, I’m in shape….and that I’m not behind and that when these vets says lets go I’m ready to go.”
With the Buccaneers not adding an outside linebacker in free agency or the draft, Bell knows there’s an opportunity for him to make the roster not just as a special teams player. When asked what’s one thing fans should know about him he said,
“A lot of you might not know me right now but when I come out of no where just be ready.”