May 14, 2015 5:19 PM | Written by Anthony Caruso III, Publisher
The Philadelphia Soul has made many chances this off-season. One of the biggest moves was when the team traded all-time Arena Football League leading rusher Derrick Ross to the Los Angeles KISS for linebacker Beau Bell.
Also, involved in the trade, the Soul has traded future considerations to the KISS because the team wanted something other than Ross to make the deal work. However, that player or claim order does not have to be determined at this time.
“I wasn’t really surprised,” Bell said. “I was more excited to be honest, because getting traded for the all-time leading rusher, that’s a big deal. To me, I was happy, because the Soul front office saw something in me. I appreciate it so much. It’s a pleasure coming here and I hope to be here for a very long time.”
With the trade, the Soul acquired one of the top players in the league. Last year, he was ranked as the fourth-best player in the league.
This is the first time in his career that he’s playing on the East Coast. He has previously played in the Midwest and West Coast.
“I’m excited to be here,” Bell mentioned. “I get to come to an organization like this, what other emotions should you have? I’m really excited to be here. This is a winning organization, and that’s why I play this game. I want to win.”
While the team struggled, he did not. He had 69 tackles, 13 sacks, five pass break-ups, one forced fumble, two fumble recovers, a block, and an interception returned for a touchdown.
By coming to Philadelphia, Bell has compared his new team with his old team in the Spokane Shock. The star linebacker played three seasons (2011 through 2013) with the Shock.
During his three-year tenure in the Great Northwest, the Shock went 33-21. So far this season, the Soul are 5-0 and will be going for their sixth straight win tonight against the Portland Thunder.
“At Spokane, we were also a winning organization out there,” Bell stated. “This is very similar – if not better – than my time out there. I have a great feel about being here. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Bell is one of many new faces on the defensive side of the ball. Besides Bell, the team has also added LB/DL Caleb Bostic, DB Brandon Freeman, DB Dwayne Hollis, DL Justin Lawrence, DL/LB Curtis Young this off-season.
“It’s good knowing other players are coming from different places, as well,” he said. “So far, I think we’re gelling very well. Some guys were already here – and everybody else came from other teams. But everyone that came here has the same goal in mind. We want to win and ultimately win the championship. Since we have the same goals in mind, we’re going to fight all the way through (the season).”
The Soul defense is one of the best in the league. They currently have 159 tackles, including 13 tackles for a loss. They also have five sacks, three fumble recovers, and five interceptions.
The defense has given up forty-plus points three times, including 48 and 42 in their last two games. They also gave up 43 to the Shock in Week 2. They’ve also given up 63 points in Week 1 and 52 in the home opener on April 12th in Week 3.
“I think we can be the Seattle Seahawks Legion of Boom defense of the AFL,” Bell confidently said. “We want to shut them down on every single play. We hate it when they score on us. We want to get the ball to Dan (Raudabaugh) so he can do his thing. Right now, he’s playing like the MVP of the league.”
Bell has 13.5 tackles on the season with 2.5 tackles for a loss. He also has a sack, a pass break up, two quarterback hurries, and a fumble recovery.
He is lined up next to Joe Goosby, another Soul star linebacker, on many plays. Goosby has 22 tackles and a pass break up in five games.
“Joe’s a smart football player,” he mentioned. “Having a linebacker that’s smart like that, it elevates a lot of stress for the rest of the defense. At linebacker, it’s the most important position on the defense. Some say we’re the quarterback on defense. It’s all about communication, and if you don’t know how to communicate, we’re going to be stuck. You can’t ready somebody’s mind to play this position. Coming here, our communication was on point from the beginning, even in training camp. I saw him play from a distance, and he’s one of the best linebackers in this league.”
In 2008, the team won their lone championship in New Orleans, 59-56, in ArenaBowl XXII. The team hopes that they can bring another ArenaBowl championship to the City of Brotherly Love in the next several months.
“Everyone here has the same goal in mine,” Bell said. “We want to win the championship. As long as we get better every day, that’s what we’re going to do. I don’t think it hurts to about it this early in the season.”