The Detroit Lions bandwagon is getting full of fans and analysts that are expecting big things from the franchise going forward. However, I don’t think I’ve heard a single one of them shower the Lions with praise quite like ESPN’s Louis Riddick did last week.
During an appearance on “The Rich Eisen Show,” Riddick—a former player and director of pro personnel—went on a five minute rant about how good of a position the Lions are in, and how they’re doing just about everything right.
Here’s a transcript of basically the entire thing:
“I said this in January, right after they were done mopping Lambeau with the Packers, Detroit,” Riddick said. “This team has got it going on. And I know people are going to say, ‘What? They drafted Jahmyr Gibbs and Jack Campbell in the first round! They don’t know what the hell they’re doing!’ Yeah, they do. Yeah, they do.
“They have a top-three offensive line in all of football, in all of football. They have a quarterback who—some people are sitting there going, ‘Hmm, did Sean (McVay) do that wrong?’ Not to say that Matthew (Stafford) wasn’t great out there. They won a Super Bowl with him, but Jared Goff is no throwaway, clearly. They have the future in Hendon Hooker, so that room just got stronger.
“At wide receiver, I understand that now you’re going to have some issues with depth at least for the beginning of the season with Jameson Williams’ situation, but Marvin Jones, Josh Reynolds, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kalif Raymond. These guys, they can hold it down. They’ll be just fine.
“Sam LaPorta, who they drafted out of Iowa, I got to see him in person this past year. He’s going to be one of those guys who you wind up going, ‘Oh, another Iowa tight end that’s up for All-Rookie and maybe a reserve Pro Bowl.’ Shocking. We’ve never seen that happen before out of an Iowa tight end [heavy sarcasm].
“And Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery? Forget it. That’s one of the best—you can put that against any one-two-punch of running backs in the NFL. Jahmyr Gibbs is a freaking superstar.”
After an aside with Eisen about some teams having Gibbs higher than Bijan Robinson on their draft boards, Riddick continued:
“Jahmyr, though, watch his tape, man. You’ve seen it. He can go. He can do it all. In today’s game, it’s a lateral as well as a vertical game, and he can play both games no matter how you want to do it. ‘You want me to go downhill? I’ll go downhill. You want me to go side-to-side and juke some people out, make them look silly in space? I’ll do it. You want me to attack them out of the backfield? I’ll do it. Whatever you need me to do, I can do it, and I can do it with home-run capabilities.’ That’s today’s game.
“Look, this team finished 8-2 last year. The defense played some of its very, very, very best in that 8-2 run. (Defensive coordinator) Aaron Glenn had them going in the right direction. Jack Campbell is a grown man. At 6-5, he’s a grown man. The things they did in the secondary, with bringing in Emmanuel Moseley. Kerby Joseph, who they drafted last year out of Illinois, the third-rounder. He’s the guy who picked off Aaron (Rodgers) at the end of the game last year. This guy is going to be a Pro Bowler or an All-Pro this year. You draft Brian Branch—they’ve got players, man!
“And the best thing about it is, I know some people say, ‘Well, ex-players don’t make the best coaches and blah, blah, blah,’ because ex-players sometimes don’t have the patience to deal with guys who can’t do it at the level that they did it. Well, Dan (Campbell) has gotten the group (of coaches) out there that obviously are great teachers, too. They connect with these guys in a way that—that whole biting kneecaps thing? Seems like, who cares? You know what? Maybe more coaches need to be talking about that.”
Watch the entire segment below: