Friday, August 19, 2011

The Detroit Lions Jahvid Best - Jamaal Charles, Reggie Bush or something less?

We found out this much about Lions running back Jahvid Best as a rookie. He is a spectacular player - when healthy. We also discovered the concerns about his durability are real. He broke down relatively early. This is not questioning his toughness. Just the opposite. Best played - and hard - with the type of injury that would have sidelined many players. It was his M.O. in college, too. Other than the neck injury he suffered at Cal, he played, but was often banged up and it limited his effectiveness
In truth, he is a smaller back with great speed and evade in the open field, who would be better served with lesser touches in more potentially explosive situations.
There are two backs Best could be like. One is Kansas City's Jamaal Charles, who has averaged six yards per carry in the NFL. Charles is about the same size. He started just six games last year (6.4 yards per carry) - and still made All Pro. He averaged less than 15 carries per game. Thomas Jones actually had more carries than Charles for the Chiefs. He did the inside work. Also, Charles had three times more receptions than Jones. The objective: Get the ball to Charles in space, but keep him away from taking the shots in the middle of line.
The Saints used Reggie Bush much the same way. When they didn't, and Bush became the so-called sole featured back, he wasn't nearly as effective.
I think Best is an underrated factor for the Lions this season. The injury to Mikel Leshoure has hurt some of their plans - they obviously have figured this out.
But it does make it imperative the Lions find a second back to compliment Best, an inside runner. Jerome Harrison is a smaller back, too. Mike Bell is a slasher. But are they effective enough? It's one of the remaining puzzles in the preseason. Maybe we'll know more tonight following the second preseason game.
One way or another, Best has to be better than he was last season for all the Lions' hopes to fall into place. The circumstances not only must align, but he must be that good.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home