Detroit Lions — Five reasons run game will improve
- The whole offense should be better in the second year of the new scheme. Everyone should know his role.
- They have basically traded Reggie Bush, who had trouble staying healthy in 2014, for rookie Ameer Abdullah who had 4,500 career rushing yards at Nebraska against Big Ten defenses. Abdullah has been impressive in OTAs and minicamp. It’s tough to judge running backs without pads on, but wouldn’t expect his stock to completely plummet.
- Joique Bell is another year wiser too. It’s expected he’ll be healthy enough to participate in training camp after just watching OTAs and minicamp. Bell and Abdullah can form a good one-two punch.
- The offensive line appears to have been upgraded. It’s still a line in flux, but it looks like Travis Swanson will take over at center and either Manny Ramirez or first-round pick Laken Tomlinson at left guard. Also (and I know this sounds like a broken record) but the other linemen understand this new offense better too. Right guard Larry Warford said people don’t understand the complexities of the offensive line. He said it was a tough adjustment last year for the line and everyone else but they are feeling much more comfortable so far this offseason.
- Expect more emphasis to be put on running the ball. Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi has said he wants to unleash Matthew Stafford more often. To do that he needs the run game to be effective, to keep defenses in the box and open up the game downfield.