Theo Bell

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Theo Bell
No. 83
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born:December 21, 1953
Bakersfield, California
Died:June 21, 2006(2006-06-21) (aged 52)
Tampa, Florida
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
NFL Draft:1976 / Round: 4 / Pick: 120
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receiving yards:2,375
Receiving TDs:8
Games played:127
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Theopolis Bell, Jr. (December 21, 1953 – June 21, 2006) was an American football wide receiver who played nine seasons in the National Football League for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Bell, who was born and raised in Bakersfield, California, played college football at the University of Arizona and was selected in the fourth round of the 1976 NFL Draft by the Steelers. He was with the Steelers from 1976–80, earning Super Bowl rings in 1979 and 1980. He missed the 1977 season because of an injury. He is the Steelers' second-leading career punt returner, behind Rod Woodson.

Bell spent his first three years as a reserve, rising to a starting role in 1980 due to injuries to both Lynn Swann and John Stallworth. His 25.8 yards-per-catch average led the AFC that year.[1] He then held out of training camp the next year, hoping to get a salary increase based on his performance. He was instead waived, and was claimed by the Buccaneers, where he replaced Mike Shumann on the roster.[2]

During Bell's second season with the Steelers, his first wife, Kathy, appeared on Card Sharks and won several games for a total of $23,000 in prize money.

He died in Tampa, Florida at age 52 after suffering from scleroderma and kidney disease.[1] He was survived by two children, Teleah Bell and Terran Bell (Kiana Bell).


  1. ^ Zier, Patrick. "Tampa Bay waives Shumann, obtains Bell". The Lakeland Ledger. 3 Sep 1981
  2. ^ Walston, Charles. "Bell Tickled To Sing Bucs' Tune". St. Petersburg Evening Independent. 3 Sep 1981

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