The Detroit Lions really had a potent running attack in 2013.
Reggie Bush was technically the team’s number-one running back, but Joique Bell was just as powerful with over 1,000 all-purpose yards last season. Bell is a restricted free agent, who is likely to get some consideration from at least a handful of NFL teams. However, if Bell winds up staying in Detroit then he will be answering to Lions head coach Jim Caldwell.
On Tuesday, the Lions announced that Caldwell would serve as the team’s new head coach and the consensus is that this move makes Detroit a legitimate contender. However, one look at Caldwell’s resume and it’s easy to see the head coach’s weakness — running the football. In his last stop as an offensive coordinator, Caldwell managed to drive the Baltimore Ravens‘ dynamic running back duo straight into the ground.
Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce both took major steps back this year as neither running back finished with more than 1,000 yards rushing in 2013. Sure, the Rice and Pierce struggles could have been a fluke, but Caldwell needs to make sure he gets the most out of Bush and Bell moving forward in the Motor City.
NFL fans can talk all they want about Caldwell’s supposed ability to rein in Matthew Stafford, but the running game is what the Lions should really be worried about. If Bush and Bell turn in clunker seasons in 2014, then we will all know that Caldwell has major issues when it comes to establishing a formidable rushing attack.