During the first quarter of the 49ers game, Rudi Johnson came in at running back and never relinquished starting duties during the rest of the game. Johnson ended up rushing for 83 yards and also scored a touchdown on a screen pass. He played very well and earned the right to play as much as he did. Kevin Smith understands that Johnson did play well, but he's a little upset over the fact that his playing time was so limited.
"Personally, I don't like it. I think I should be playing a lot more. But it's all about winning,'' Smith said.
"I've got a new attitude. I went home at the break and got a new attitude, I'm just going to get me better. Now I'm going to work on getting myself better every day and try, not the impossible, but I've got the mindset that I'm going to try to hit a home run on every play now. I might only get one carry. If I only get one carry, I've got to make it count.''
Smith also wanted to know what his role with the team is. He doesn't seem to care as much about being the starter or the backup, but he just wants to know which it is.
"It doesn't matter to me," Smith said. "If they say Rudi is starting the whole season and you're going to back him up, that's fine. Just tell me what it is, because when I go to practice, I practice hard every day. I go hard doing everything. Whatever the situation's going to be, just let me know. We're all grown here."
I can see where Smith is coming from, but Rod Marinelli doesn't have a specific plan of who is going to start. It's going to end up being more of a game-by-game type of thing where the better RB will get more playing time. Smith could be hot one game and he would end up playing more. Similarly, there could be a situation like the San Francisco game where Johnson is playing well and he stays in. It all depends on the situation, and honestly, I'm glad the Lions are in a position where more than one running back is deserving of playing time.