Bell, speaking before newspaper and television reporters at the team’s Media Day Thursday, said injuries last season has created a wealth of depth on defense and it will be needed to overcome a young offense.
“We’ve got a defense you can win championships with,’’ he said. “The time is now to prove we are a championship program. We’re a hungry team and after losing last year in San Diego (the PFL title game) because it left a bad taste in our mouth.’’
While the offense is young, Bell won’t concede that it might score less than in the past.
“If we only score 17 a game then I need to fire myself,’’ he said.
Bell said the team currently isn’t “in the best of all worlds’’ as it has been beset by an illness running though players (10-12) and some nagging injuries.
Bell, entering his sixth season, explained to the media the team’s five points of winning:
1. To dominate the home field (the Dolphins have the current FCS mark for consecutive home wins with 14).
2. Be the most physical team on the field (“and that’s the way we practice”).
3. Win all special teams battles
4. Win turnover margin
5. Win field position battle
“We’re going to keep working at it,’’ he said.
Director of Athletics Brad Edwards, on the job less than a week, introduced Bell.
Edwards clearly is happy to be here.
“It’s an exciting time to be at JU,’’ he said. “I am excited about the program and the leadership.’’
Bell also offered a glimpse of the team’s first opponent, fourth-ranked Georgia Southern.
“We have their film and they have ours and I go back to their game against Alabama last year,’’ he said. “They scored 21 points on Alabama; they looked like a Division I football team.’’
JU travels to Georgia Southern Sept. 1 to open the season.
- Jim Nasella