Despite historical data that should squash it, there is plenty of derision around for how the Detroit Lions are using (or not using) Jahmyr Gibbs. A lot of that is rooted in fantasy football owners who truly overdrafted Gibbs, and thus ignored how the Lions openly said they view Gibbs and David Montgomery as their backfield duo.
An easy comp all along for Gibbs has been New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara. But just as appropriate a comp for some, and a ceiling comp getting down to it, is Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler.
Ekeler has a media outlet to put his thoughts out there every week, via his podcast with Yahoo! Sports. With co-host Matt Harmon, the Lions' backfield deployment became a topic for his thoughts this week.
Austin Ekeler offers his uniquely informed perspective on Jahmyr Gibbs' usage
Here's what Ekeler had to say about Gibbs.
"With Jahmyr, he’s hitting the right spot," Ekeler explained. "There’s some suddenness to him that I see at times, but I want to see that in the preparation, in the approach, in the runs and set yourself up so you can make it even more explosive. I think he’s tipping his runs a little bit on his wide zones. It just takes time.”
"I can tell he’s a rookie," Ekeler said. "That doesn’t mean that he’s not doing well, like he’s dynamic, he’s making good plays, he’s hitting the right holes. There’s just certain things that I see when I watch David Montgomery run that I’m like, ‘Yeah, that guy’s been around for a while.’"
"He (Gibbs) just looks a little green," "I say this not to say that he doesn’t look good. He definitely looks good, he’s ready to play in the NFL, he can definitely hold down and be a starter. But it’s just when I compare the two, I see the vet, I see the experience with David that is gonna continue to appreciate within Jahmyr. So to me, it makes sense why David’s getting the workload.”
Ekeler's comments after watching Lions' film echoes what head coach Dan Campbell said last week about Gibbs needing a little refinement in order to maximize his runs. Ekeler's informed perspective, based on his experience past and present, adds an important layer to the conversation. Regarding Gibbs, patience remains the word.