Kevin Smith has been the Lions’ top running back for both of his two years in Detroit. But the combination of his December knee injury and the Lions’ decision to trade up in the draft for Jahvid Best mean Smith probably won’t be the starter in 2010.
At least, that’s the conventional wisdom. But Smith doesn’t see it that way. Smith tells the Detroit Free Press he sees Best as a great complement to what the Lions are already doing on offense, not as the guy who’s there to push him out of the starting job.
“I’m a competitor,” Smith said. “It’s not just Best. It’s any back that’s been in the backfield. I think he’s a good addition to the backfield, and I think he’ll be able to do some things to help us win games.”
Smith says he likes Best and is glad to spend time showing him the ropes.
“I’m around him every day,” Smith said. “We’re getting to be very close.”
If Best pushes Smith out of the starting job, it might be hard for Smith to continue liking the rookie so much. But for now, Smith is saying all the right things.