Theo Riddick Leads Five Detroit Lions with Arrows Pointing Up

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Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest advantages of installing a new scheme on both offense and defense is that you will occasionally find players who were just stuck in a poor or underutilized role by the previous staff.

The first clear possibility of this happening with the Lions came from several consecutive, glowing endorsements of former Notre Dame RB and 2013 6th round pick Theo Riddick.  First, he received some moderate praise and mild expectations from yours truly, then NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah jump started the Theo Riddick train.

Finally, Reggie Bush himself spoke on the matter (as reported by Paula Pasche), and it’s going to be tough to stop any talk of the budding 2nd year player.  Riddick isn’t alone, however, so here are reasons why he and several others are poised to take a big leap in 2014.

 Theo Riddick

In spite of the heavy praise this off-season, Riddick did little as a RB to distinguish himself in 2013.  With only 9 carries (2.8 YPC) and 4 receptions to his name, he was the third man in a two-man rotation.  Were it not for his special teams ability, Riddick may not have even made the roster in 2013, yet he has impressed nearly everyone who has seen him this off-season.

Will his determination pay off?  The addition of a Saints based offense should help with that, as their playbook is predicated on using various skill-sets in different ways. Riddick enters that equation with the broadest set of tools in the RB corps, which can only help him. Let’s just hope the hype doesn’t get to his head; Reggie Bush has said he’s ahead of even where he was at this point in his career.

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Tags: Bill Bentley Detroit Lions Glover Quin Jeremy Ross Kyle Van Noy Theo Riddick

  • Derek Mack

    Great stuff Kent. I like the players you identified as poised for breakout seasons in 2014. I am surprised though at the selection of Bentley over Slay. By most accounts, Slay is the player lighting up training camp at the cornerback position. Still, it’s a good sign that two young defensive backs are coming into their own. I am also interested in the competition between Isa Abdul-Quddus and Carey. Carey was the Lions worst defender last season according to PFF. I know the team likes Carey due to his versatility; problem is he does a bit of everything POORLY. Isa was on the cusp of becoming a bona fide playmakers for the Saints and many Saints fans lamented his departure feeling his career is on an upward ascent. On offense, anything Ross can give is a bonus, Riddick on the other hand may be more needed than we currently expect. Reggie hasn’t been the most durable back in the NFL over his career and beyond that, his ball security issues may have him on the sidelines more than last season. I expect Riddick to be called upon exponentially more this season than last and think he’s ready to impact the team. I just wish he were faster as neither Bell nor Riddick have the game breaking speed Bush possesses.

  • Herman Moore

    Bush has missed only 3 games in the last 3 years…