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Thread: Another fragile RB?

  1. #1

    Another fragile RB?

    In '04, the Lions took Kevin Jones late in the first round. He ran for over 1000 yards as a rookie and looked like a future star. Then the injuries started. A lisfranc in '06 and a knee in '07, the Lions eventually cut him.

    In '08 they took Kevin Smith in the 3rd round. Again, solid rookie year. Again, a knee injury.

    Now they draft Jahvid Best in the first round, who had several surgeries and several concussions in the last year and a half. There's no question that Best has more upside than either of the Kevins, but, at 199 pounds, he's also smaller.

    I realize that in many cases injuries are just bad luck, but some players are more prone to injuries than others. They tend to fall awkwardly or in Jahvid Best's case, throw their body around wrecklessly. I'm not saying Best was a bad pick, he was definitely the most talented RB on the board at the time and would have gone higher if not for the injuries. But with the Lions recent history and their questionable offensive line, would it have made more sense to use the 30th pick on an offensive lineman and take a bigger back, like Montario Hardesty or Toby Gerhardt, later in the draft?

  2. It is an old debate, but still interesting. Big play backs v. powerful grind it out backs? I just watched the Dolphins tape yesterday, and what stood out to me was their lack of explosive players (roll the dice on Brandon Marshall). The Lions have the same issue. They have Calvin Johnson, but nobody else to help free him. I still think games are won on explosive plays and Jahvid Best can provide those if healthy.

  3. In today's game most teams have gone to a two or three RB system to lesson some of the physical pounding on a RB. Having different style runners makes it tougher for opposing defenses to prepare for and that is why you see teams take a RB that has the potential to be an explosive player even though there might be some risk. Defensive coordinators talk to their players all the time about not giving up explosive plays and if a team has only one explosive player the defense will game plan to take that player away. A dangerous offense has more then one player capable of making explosive plays just as a dangerous defense does.

  4. The problem is how many times can a small back touch the ball and stay healthy? Chris Johnson was remarkable last year, but can it last? As the former Bills offensive coordinator, did it surprise you that the Bills took CJ Spiller over a desperately needed left tackle?

  5. It didn't surprise me at all. Mr. Wilson wants to see some excitement and big play capability in the Bills offense and CJ gives them a home run threat. After watching last years offense wouldn't you try to inject some explosiveness and excitement into the offense.

  6. #6
    The Lions need more explosive players on offense, and Best fits that need. In the meantime, the Lions also have Maurice Morris, a heavier RB, along with a couple young fullbacks that have been serviceable in what little time they have seen.

    Jahvid Best could be a home run pick, and everything that I have read backs that up. The two Kevins both had some doubts among the team while here. Best seems to have the same respect of his teammates that Calvin Johnson has had. Glowing quotes and praise in the newspapers, stuff like that. I'd say that's a good sign for his future.

  7. #7
       
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turk Schonert View Post
    It didn't surprise me at all. Mr. Wilson wants to see some excitement and big play capability in the Bills offense and CJ gives them a home run threat. After watching last years offense wouldn't you try to inject some explosiveness and excitement into the offense.
    He'll need to be Barry Sanders behind that line. As far as Best is concerned, just be glad Millen is gone. Not only would he have drafted another running back, he probably would have been named Kevin.

  8. #8
       
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turk Schonert View Post
    It didn't surprise me at all. Mr. Wilson wants to see some excitement and big play capability in the Bills offense and CJ gives them a home run threat. After watching last years offense wouldn't you try to inject some explosiveness and excitement into the offense.
    Is the left tackle spot considered by coaches to be a more "replaceable" position than scatback? To have that spot be of such great need, but to pass it over for a guy that (though he needs good blockers to succeed) can take it to the house? I wouldn't think Mr. Wilson would want Spiller simply because he would be exciting, but because he thinks its the biggest need for his football team to win games. So big a need to take it in the top ten? On the other hand I suppose, this draft was deep at tackle so perhaps they felt they could find what they needed in a later round. Just curious for your input, Turk

  9. #9
       
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    From what we have seen so far from Jahvid Best it seems as long as he stays healthy he going to be a fun one to have in Detroit. Looks to have everything a fan hopes for. Just has long has he stays healthy. Cross our fingers! Best has shown that a defense is going to need to pay attention to him so far in the preseason, when the defense turns it up a bit more once the season starts hopefully his vision and speed still stand out. He could make this Lions offense much improved!

  10. #10
    I have loved what I have seen from Best so far this pre-season. He looks fast and like the game isn't too fast for him which is a big deal for a rookie. Probably the most important play I have seen from him so far wasn't one his runs (which have been good) but in the Piitsburgh game he had perfectly executed blits pick ups and has done well in both games. Also the crispness with which Stafford has been executing the offense can also add to the explosiveness that we may see this season. Calvin and Best may be the fireworks but I think Pettigrew, Scheffler, and Burleson can help keep the chains moving.
    "Last year, we gained respect. This year, we want fear." - Ndamukong Suh.

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