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, the story went on to say. Abdullah is ranked 30th on our list and is getting drafted around the fifth round. Abdullah probably isn't an every down back but can be productive from a fantasy standpoint in the Lions offense if he takes over Reggie Bush's old role.
Unlike former head coach Greg Schiano, who preferred to give the bulk of the carries to a single back such as Doug Martin, new OC Jeff Tedford plans to use a two- and maybe even three-back scheme that constantly forces defenses to adjust to his personnel.
“When I was at (the University of California) we were always very fortunate to have two very good backs, whether it was J.J. Arrington and Marshawn Lynch or Lynch and Justin Forsett, or Lynch and Jahvid Best or Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen,’’ Tedford said Wednesday.
“We really had a good one-two punch in the backfield there and I think that’s what you need. For one guy to carry the load the whole time, especially as physical as this level is, is a lot. So (we’re looking) to have two and probably three backs that can provide different things for you.’’
We don't have to read between the lines to see that Martin may not get the workhorse-type touches that he received in his first season. Still, he'll very likely be the lead back and hold 2nd/3rd round value heading into 2014 fantasy drafts.
The Detroit Lions announced today that they have released RB Jahvid Best.
Best was placed on Physically Unable to Perform on August 27, 2012 and missed the duration of the 2012 season.
Best's career seemed like it was over a while ago. He got off to a promising start as he caught 49 passes in his first 10 games (the 4th-most by a rookie RB), but concussions derailed his career. The Lions have acquired Reggie Bush to fill the same pass-catching role.
Reggie Bush agreed to terms on a four-year deal with the Detroit Lions, the team has announced via its website. The former No. 2 overall pick spent the last two seasons with the Miami Dolphins trying to prove he can be a featured back and now he'll get the chance to take the bulk of the load with the Lions as well.
Bush will step into a backfield that has been without Jahvid Best but also includes Mikel Leshoure.
"Definitely where we are, he definitely would be the missing piece," Lions offensive guard Rob Sims said. "With our aerial attack and he can catch the ball the way we can out of the backfield and some of the other running game stuff we got in place, I think it's tailor-made for him."
Bush will reportedly be given the opportunity to earn "feature back" duties, which could mean big things for him in Detroit. Keep in mind that Mikel Leshoure is a very capable goal line back, so he may vulture some red zone touches, limiting Bush's upside. Bush should be especially good in PPR formats as the Lions tend to throw the ball a ton. At this point, Bush's departure leaves Lamar Miller the favorite to start for the Dolphins.