Of all the positions on a football field, running back provides a rookie with the best opportunity to make an immediate impact. By trading back into round one for Cal running back Jahvid Best, the Lions undoubtedly expect him to do just that.
And he knows it.
“I understand there’s a lot of potential I have to play, but I just have
to come in and do the best I can and help the team to win,” Best said Sunday, per Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com. “Things
should go great. There’s a running back by committee, so we can all get
it done. I’ve just got to play my part.”
The other members of the committee are Maurice Morris and Kevin Smith, who continues to rehab a torn ACL. But while the three-headed approach has become popular in Dallas and New Orleans and many other teams use a two-man rotation, a “hot hand” could get a guy more touches.
“If you look around the league, some of the best running teams always
have a tandem,” Best said. “It’s a hard job for one man.”
But, still, most running backs prefer to burn out than fade away — especially when they are young and healthy enough to not realize that they have a limited shelf life.
The challenge for the Lions will be to decide whether to spread out the carries, or whether to adopt a workhorse approach. Some may think that, given their history, the Lions are destined to make the decision that ends up in hindsight being the wrong one.
We’re not yet prepared to make that conclusion. Things seem to be changing in Detroit. Then again, perhaps we’re being influenced by the fact that everyone is 0-0, and that everyone will carry that record over the next four-plus months.