The Detroit Lions have finally freed themselves of the stale, predictable offensive play calling of Jim Bob Cooter. Head coach Matt Patrica decided to bring in Darrell Bevell to reshape the offense, and it bodes well for lead back Kerryon Johnson.
It’s no secret Kerryon Johnson is a bit injury prone, the Detroit Lions lead back has battled various injuries leading all the way back to his high school ball. Injuries can’t be predicted but if Johnson can find a way to stay healthy, or should I say, lucky enough to remain healthy all season he will have a breakout season.
Johnson is entering the second year of his NFL career with the potential to explode offensively with Darrell Bevell’s playcalling, that will primarily focus on the Detroit Lions run game. The Lions haven’t had a franchise type back since Barry Sanders. Sanders, of course, was more than just a franchise back he’s arguably the best back to ever play the game. The team had hoped they had a bell cow type back in the past with Kevin Jones, Jahvid Best, Kevin Smith and even Reggie Bush who actually produced the most out of all those guys.
Kerryon Johnson seems like he’s the real deal though, he only played in ten games during his rookie year totaling 641 yards on 118 carries for an above average 5.4 yards per carry. Although the total yards are similar to the first three backs previously mentioned the yards per carry for Johnson is much better. That alone should give Lions’ fans hope.
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The Lions selected both Best and Jones in the first round of their respected drafts; Smith was taken in the third round. The Lions selected Johnson in the second round 43rd overall last season. I believe the first round pick of T.J Hockenson this year proved the franchise has a determined agenda that focuses on the run game. That along with bringing in Darrell Bevell who has a history of running a balanced offense with Seattle should spark the Lions run game.
Hockenson is expected to thrive as a complete tight end; he’s as good of a blocker as he is at catching the football. The team signed Jesse James who is also a tight end that can play in-line, meaning lined up right beside an offensive tackle to help with the run game. As athletic as Eric Ebron is, he’s a below average blocker; he’s actually a piss-poor run blocker. He’s a tight end that would rather lineup in the slot rather than mess around trying to chip a defensive end.
This group Matt Patricia has assembled will help the Lions backs especially Johnson move the chains. There are a few question marks on the Lions O-line including both tackles and a hole at right guard. I like both Rick Wagner and Taylor Decker, but they both need to be much more consistent for the Lions moving forward. The Lions will have an open competition for the starting right guard position between Kenny Wiggins, Leo Koloamatangi, Tyrell Crosby, Joe Dahl, Beau Benzschawel, and Micah St. Andrew.
I might be drinking a bit of the Detroit Lions’ kool-aid but I can see Kerryon Johnson galloping for 1200 yards and 8 scores this up and coming season. He also has sneaky receiving skills that may allow him to catch it for another 300-400 yards.