Smith 'a caged animal'
You know where I stand on Kevin Smith. He should start, he should get the bulk of the carries, he's the best running back the Lions have.
I asked Smith Monday if, going on the way he played last week against Houston (10 carries, 61 yards) and really all season (a very respectable 4.9 yards per carry), he felt he's earned the right to start.
"I can't say. My media guy's staring at me," Smith said, nodding at a Lions representative monitoring the interview. "No, seriously, I don't know. That's how it goes. I don't think it's even an issue. It's just whatever they feel. We're trying to get our offense rolling, whatever they feel they need to do to get our offense going that's what we're doing."
Within the context of this season we're not talking changing offensive coordinators or drafting five new offensive linemen the two things the Lions can do to jumpstart their offense are throw the ball to Calvin Johnson more and install Smith as the feature back. Johnson should have a minimum of 10 plays per game come his way, be they passes, reverses, whatever. He's the Lions' most dynamic offensive player and he needs to touch the ball.
Smith isn't the game-breaker that Johnson is, but he runs hard, plays at full speed and moves the chains when he has holes. Just as he sparked the Lions against Minnesota with a long run at the end of the first half, Smith helped make it a game against the Texans with back-to-back runs of 21 and 26 yards in the third quarter.
After the second went for a touchdown, he climbed the back wall Lambeau leap-style and slapped five with a fan sitting in the front row.
"I didn't know him," Smith said. "I'm just a caged animal who's ready to get out of the cage on the field. Stuff like that's going to happen when you try to contain a dog."
As for the possibility of regaining his starting job, Smith said he's put that to the back of his mind.
"My job is not to start right now. My job is to come in and contribute and make it happen," he said. "That's what I'm going to continue to do. I'm going to continue to come to practice and get better, and for me it's going to get better, I'm going to get better. I'm going to better myself as the season goes on. I want to come out of this rookie season with something. Come out, give 100 percent and hopefully give the fans some hope for the running game in the future."