clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tuesday open thread: What kind of running back should the Lions add?

The Lions have a need for a running back, but what kind?

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

At one point during Monday’s Season Ticket Holder Summit, general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia were asked about the Detroit Lions’ need for a running back.

After Kerryon Johnson was injured, the fan noted, the Lions only seemed to have bruising backs, and were missing the home-run threat that Johnson offered. So are the Lions looking to have another speedy guy to basically work as Johnson’s backup? Or will they be looking for a guy that can push the pile more effectively than LeGarrette Blount did last year?

Patricia’s answer was non-committal, basically saying the benefits of both. He did say that they’re always looking for backs who can play the majority of the downs, but Quinn noted those are the running backs who are also the most expensive and they have to consider value.

“If we can get anybody with that kind of talent that can be the home run hitter at any point in time, we’re going to obviously take advantage of that when we can,” Patricia said. “But also there’s something to be said about that guy that can just grind it out and be that powerhouse back.”

So today’s Question of the Day is:

What kind of running back are you hoping the Detroit Lions pursue this offseason?

My answer: It’s a tough question to answer, because, ideally, you want someone who can do both. Someone who can come in on third down and potentially push the pile for short-yardage gains. But that home-run hit is crucial to keep your offense electric, even when they decide to run the ball heavily.

Last year, the strategy of a bruiser back didn’t seem to work all that well, but that certainly seemed to be a function of the player, not the strategy. And while Kerryon Johnson proved he’s capable of carrying the rock in short-yardage situations, I think I would like a different back to take on some of that load took keep Johnson clean and fresh.

If I had to choose one or the other, I’d want a running back that can get down and dirty in the trenches, but I can certainly see the value of both, especially with the Lions’ current roster setup.

Your turn.

Pride of Detroit Direct

Sign up now for a 7-day free trial of Pride of Detroit Direct, with exclusive updates from Jeremy Reisman on the ground at Allen Park, instant reactions after each game, and in-depth Lions analysis from film expert Jon Ledyard.