Second year Detroit Lions running back, Theo Riddick maybe destined for a break-out year in 2014.
At least that’s what fellow Lions running back Reggie Bush thinks.
While the two tailbacks were drafted from completely opposite ends of their respective NFL Drafts, (Bush at No.2 overall in 2006 and Riddick at No. 199 in 2013) Bush firmly believes Riddick is ahead of where he was at that early stage in his career, ultimately resulting in Riddick having a terrific sophomore campaign in Detroit.
“I think he’s going to be a sleeper for us. He’s going to be a huge part of our offense and what we’re able to do this year. He’s hard to guard one-on-one, so that’s going to be good for us to have an extra piece of the puzzle.”
Recently hired offensive coordinator, Joe Lombardi is currently in the process of putting his systems into place in Detroit. Those systems are rumored to have a very familiar look to them — the look of New Orleans Saints offense.
Lombardi spent the last seven years as an assistant for the Saints under coach Sean Payton, and is expected to carry-over a lot of what worked in New Orleans, to Detroit.
If that does in fact occur, Lions fans will be seeing a lot of three and four receiver sets – and an array of tailbacks.
Plenty of opportunity should be present for Bush, Bell, and RB3.
Similar to last season, Riddick will be competing with Mikel Leshoure for the third running back spot on the roster. Riddick won the battle last year and has emerged as the early favorite again, mostly due to his improved skill-set in the passing game.
As Bush continues to guide his young understudy, he maintains that Riddick is a more advanced natural runner than himself.
“When I got to my rookie year, I was trying to outrun everybody to the sideline. It took me a few years to develop that natural, running-between-the-tackles ability.”
Furthermore, Bush isn’t the only person on the Riddick bandwagon — NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah also believes the diversity in Riddick’s game could propel the 5-foot-9 back onto the field more in 2014.
My favorite sleeper for the upcoming season: DET RB Theo Riddick
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) June 2, 2014
As preseason nears, it’s hard not to be intrigued by the optimism surrounding Theo Riddick and the rest of the Detroit Lions.