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Dan Orlovsky: Theo Riddick will be our Darren Sproles

Theo Riddick AP

The Lions hired former Saints quarterbacks coach Joe Lombardi as their offensive coordinator this offseason, which is leading to some comparisons between his old team and his new team.

First-round pick Eric Ebron will be in a Jimmy Graham-type role, Reggie Bush will do a lot of what he used to do in New Orleans and Theo Riddick will be doing his best to resemble Darren Sproles. That last one might have eluded your notice, but quarterback Dan Orlovsky is convinced that Riddick will be a breakout star this season.

“This kid, he wasn’t covered a single time in OTAs and minicamp,” Orlovsky said on the Ross Tucker Football Podcast, via the Detroit Free Press. “And I think that it’s even going to be easier for him when he gets pads on because, once linebackers just try to start colliding him, and that’s what teams started to do with Sproles sometimes. … You hit the home run once every 10 plays, and then 9 out of 10 times, Sproles wins. And that’s what I think Theo’s going to do for us. Theo’s that kind of guy where he has a really good feel, a really good vision, really good suddenness. If he doesn’t have 50 catches this year, I’ll be surprised. He’s going to have opportunities and he’s really talented at it.”

Riddick didn’t play much as a rookie and remains behind Bush and Joique Bell on the depth chart, but the Saints made a lot of use of multiple backs during Lombardi’s time in New Orleans. They were effective with that approach by focusing on what the individual backs did well, something that you’d expect to continue in Detroit even if direct comparisons to Sproles turn out to be a bit of a reach as far as Riddick is concerned.

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26 Responses to “Dan Orlovsky: Theo Riddick will be our Darren Sproles”
  1. thegreatgabbert says: Jul 7, 2014 4:02 PM

    “…but we’ll still call him Theo Riddick, if his Mom is reading this…”.

  2. mdpickles says: Jul 7, 2014 4:10 PM

    Of course he wasn’t covered in OTA’s. The Lions defense couldn’t cover my grandmother.

  3. thekiy says: Jul 7, 2014 4:11 PM

    He was a waterbug for ND and showed flashes last year, so it’s not unreasonable that he could emerge as a good player.

    Bottom line is Detroit has too many weapons, someone will be uncovered and it might as well be Theo.

  4. pttbrand says: Jul 7, 2014 4:16 PM

    Nobody listens to backup Qb’s. That’s why they are backups.

  5. fnc111 says: Jul 7, 2014 4:33 PM

    Not possible. Riddick is slow. Sproles is lightning fast.

  6. cruzer1996 says: Jul 7, 2014 4:33 PM

    I am a Lions fan, but I don’t think that highly of Theo. He has good hands, but lacks explosion.

  7. tvjules says: Jul 7, 2014 4:36 PM

    As a Colts fan, I will refrain from any jokes that could easily be made regarding Orvlosky’s expertise.
    Instead, I will continue to thank both you and Curtis Painter for securing our 2012 draft pick, Andrew Luck.

  8. radiofriendly420 says: Jul 7, 2014 4:41 PM

    I don’t get all this good press about Riddick.

    Kevin Smith 2.0 in my book. Then again, no one is looking to hire me as a pro scout.

    I think, in Detroit, and maybe in other NFL cities, that the press likes to find a darling every offseason to pump up. Every year we have a Detroit Lion that is unknown that is going to be an All-Pro. Last year it was Patrick Edwards. Burleson talked him up all offseason. The coaching staff talked him up. Boom…week 5, cut and put back on the practice squad, probably never to be seen again.

    Any fans from any other teams see this every year with their squad as well?

  9. kneelbeforesod says: Jul 7, 2014 4:45 PM

    Ndamukong Suh will be our Suge Knight.

  10. bassplucker says: Jul 7, 2014 4:53 PM

    Ah yes. That awkwardly silent pre-pre-season period when the Dan Orlovskys of the league hold forth on their teams’ brilliant prospects…

  11. largent80100 says: Jul 7, 2014 4:54 PM

    I ran to the back of the endzone for a safety while reading it.

  12. bigbluwreckincrew83 says: Jul 7, 2014 5:17 PM

    Says the guy who runs out of bounds in the end zone

  13. hyzers says: Jul 7, 2014 5:43 PM

    Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick in the backfield.
    Ebron, Pettigrew and Fauria at TE.
    Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate at WR.

    Great group of skill players. Oline was top 5 in sacks given up. Detroit offense has no excuses this year.

    Defense, despite the stereotypes was rated middle of the pack last year, still well ahead of the Bears and Vikings.

  14. metrocritical says: Jul 7, 2014 5:51 PM

    Ok. The bigger issue is whether Stafford is going to be our Drew Brees?

  15. schmitty2 says: Jul 7, 2014 5:58 PM

    If it was coming from a guy who didn’t think endzones were 13 yards long I might believe him.

  16. shorttracknews says: Jul 7, 2014 6:11 PM

    And Matt Stafford will still be our Matt Stafford

  17. purpleguy says: Jul 7, 2014 6:19 PM

    I wonder if this poor QB’s name and the words “step”, “out” and/or “end zone” are ever not set out in the same paragraph.

  18. bigpoppa5501 says: Jul 7, 2014 7:34 PM

    My guess is 70% of the backs & receivers who play in the NFL wouldn’t have been covered by the lions secondary and backers at practice. Not a big surprise.

  19. ivanpavlov0000 says: Jul 7, 2014 9:19 PM

    Everyone is a superstar in July.

    Hopefully Reggie Bush does a lot more for Detroit than he did for the Saints. With Bell and Bush in front of him, I wouldn’t waste a fantasy pick on Riddick.

  20. kimbo71006 says: Jul 7, 2014 11:19 PM

    Nobody plays like Darren Sproles except Dareen Sproles.

    Move on…

  21. kimbo71006 says: Jul 7, 2014 11:20 PM

    Oops…Darren Sproles, Darren Sproles – there, I got it!

  22. htown995 says: Jul 8, 2014 1:35 AM

    O the lions the other laughing stock in the nfc north along with the vikings no defense but lions have plenty of offense i mean how many top 12 1st rd draft picks have the lions had in the last 20 yrs without a super bowl win go bears

  23. mancave001 says: Jul 8, 2014 12:20 PM

    Dan Orlovsky is allowed to speak about football? He’s still in the NFL?

  24. lionsfan41 says: Jul 9, 2014 7:13 AM

    But that’s what we need! Everybody is complaining that we don’t have a dominant player like A.P. When we went 5-0 we had a BUNCH of different players making plays! Short screens to backs, deep passes Megatron, power run? No defense could stop us! So much versatility on the field defenses were guessing! So this is great that we could have a Darren Sproles on our team! He may not be Darren but to do the things Sproles did would definitely help this team out!

  25. twelsh36446 says: Jul 12, 2014 11:24 AM

    He hasn’t even got the pads on yet. It’s a whole different game with and without pads.

  26. twelsh36446 says: Jul 12, 2014 11:26 AM

    He will probably be catching passes out of the backfield.

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