Teryl Austin: Trying to tackle Ameer Abdullah like “grasping at air”


The Lions took running back Ameer Abdullah in the second round of this year’s draft in hopes that he could provide them with more offensive punch than they got from recent high picks Mikel Leshoure and Jahvid Best.

Count defensive coordinator Teryl Austin among those who think that Abdullah has what it takes to fulfill those hopes. Austin said Saturday that his unit has found it difficult to stop Abdullah during training camp practices.

“We can’t even tackle that guy,” Austin said, via the Detroit Free Press. “We can’t even touch him. He’s like grasping at air.”

Running backs coach Curtis Modkins took a more reserved stance on his charge, saying that while Abdullah shows “unique ability” there is a difference between impressing in practices and impressing against opposing defenses on Sundays. That’s certainly true and Abdullah says he has “so much I have to improve” before he’ll thrive in the NFL, but the team wouldn’t have used a second-round pick on him if they weren’t confident he could do so.

With Joique Bell still working his way back to practice after knee and Achilles surgeries, Abdullah should get plenty of opportunities in the preseason to show whether his ability to make people miss translates beyond friendly competition with the Lions defense. His first crack comes against the Jets this week.

19 responses to “Teryl Austin: Trying to tackle Ameer Abdullah like “grasping at air”

  1. Detroit fans are going to love they way he plays, and they will also like the type of person he is off of the field. He will give a lot back to the community.

  2. Sounds like what they used to say about Barry…

    The kid was saddled with mediocre coaching and QB play at Nebraska but willed those Husker teams to 19 wins in the last 2 years. He’s got the intangibles–just needs to stay healthy.

  3. The signs of decline are starting already, clearly no more Suh and Fairley is going to be revealed immediately. I can’t wait for the season to start and watch Hyzer’s blood pressure continue to increase as the season rolls and on and the Lions decline makes history. One decent season and back to garbage football, hope you enjoyed it. No one in the NFCN can hang with mighty Pack!

  4. detroit09 says:
    Aug 9, 2015 1:03 PM
    Jahvid Best was awesome. Concussions ended his career much too soon.
    Agree with ya on that one. In a way, I was hoping he would get cleared to play again but it was really for the best that he wasn’t. It doesn’t matter what they have in their legs, it’s all about what happens in their heads after they get concussed a time or two.

  5. LOL! What the heck are they gonna say after having to try to tackle a legitimate back? Week 2 is gonna be a real treat for us Viking fans, that’s for sure!

  6. After a ton of high picks on receivers, the Lions finally got one right with Calvin Johnson.
    Perhaps this time they finally get the RB spot right.

  7. I think you might want to check last season’s defensive stats before you embarrass yourself any further.

    Lost Suh and Fairly – yep, we sure did. Fairly was horrible last year and didn’t contribute but a few outstanding plays. Suh is a beast, but is just one of eleven on that side of the ball. We have adequate replacements and the same D coord. The drop off won’t be as significant as you might think…

  8. mrthumbs says:
    Aug 9, 2015 10:54 PM

    This giy won’t get 500 yards this year.

    I think you’re right. I figure 800+.

  9. abninf says:
    Aug 9, 2015 1:17 PM

    Getting to any ball carrier would be like grasping for air with that weak defense

    Yeah … they gave up what, like 69 rushing yards per game last year. Weak defense all right.

  10. The classic unaware fans will post that the defense (which I’ll admit held down rushers for the first time in the 2000s) is weak… It was the team’s strength last year. Suh’s absence will hurt in certain situations, but a lot of guys on that defense were young last year, and the hope is the overall progression and a second year in the defensive scheme will cover up Suh’s gaping hole. It could happen, but I’m still certain they will take a slight step back overall.

    Their schedule is not favorable this year… so I’m not guzzling the kool-aid like other lion fans… but there’s a lot to like about this team also. At the worst, they are going to be entertaining to watch, especially if Abdullah can provide a ground game and give the defense a breather on the sideline more than they got with the zero rush attack they had last year.

    If Ameer keeps defenses honest and Ebron provides ANYTHING in the passing game, this team will be fun to watch on both sides of the ball.

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