The troubles of the Detroit Lions miserable rushing offense is a story that has already been told time and time again over the past few years. They have had the least efficient running game in the league in recent years and have gone over four seasons without a running back reaching the fabled 100-yard mark.
Detroit is confident that things may change this season. The additions of back-to-back Super Bowl Champion LeGarrette Blount and rookie Kerryon Johnson to the running back room this offseason helped the Lions create one of the more talented sets of backs around the NFL.
“We have a lot of different dynamics in our room. All of our guys can carry the rock,” Blount told reporters during a media session on Friday. “We have a dynamic group and we are excited to see what all of us can do.”
Bringing in versatile players that can complement each other while also playing their own individual roles has been the cornerstone of Detroit’s roster building strategy in the Bob Quinn era. Blount has experience playing in dynamic running back committees in both New England and Philadelphia in the past, and he’s excited to be among another one in Detroit.
“You guys have seen Theo [Riddick] for five or six years now so you obviously know what he brings to the table.” Blount said about Riddick, the running back who has proven himself to be among the league’s elite pass catchers out of the backfield. “Theo is one of the most dynamic running backs in this league.”
“You’ve seen the flashes of [Kerryon Johnson] in the preseason]” Blount added, “[Ameer Abdullah] is also one of the most elusive guys in this league.”
Blount is aware of the amount of versatile talent that the roster currently holds at running back and how it can create nightmares for opposing defenses.
“Unlimited amount of mismatches. We have a lot of different running backs in this room.”
This may be the most talented set of running backs that Detroit has had in a long while. Riddick and Abdullah are the incumbent pair of agile, pass-catching running backs. Johnson has potential to be a bell cow that can see most of the team’s touches in his rookie season, and Blount will most likely be tasked with fixing the Lions long-time issues converting on third and short and in goal line situations.
Detroit is still a very pass heavy team, though, and as long as Matthew Stafford is under center it should remain that way. That means that despite the talent they have at running back, there still may not be enough touches to go around for the diverse group.
According to Blount the amount of touches each guy gets is not on their mind at the moment. “That’s the least of our worries. We are just worried about winning the games right now, we don’t care about the touches at this point,” Blount said.
The Lions offense has the potential to be among the league’s elite this season, and this dynamic group of running backs could be the X-factor to the Lions’ success this year.