Coming out of Notre Dame in 2013, Theo Riddick came to the Detroit Lions as a possible backup running back who could catch passes out of the backfield, and be used on goal-line lunges and third-down spread plays. In 2014, expect to see Riddick catch a lot of passes, and possibly line up as a receiver.
Riddick has been one of the major standouts during OTAs, and going into training camp, coach Jim Caldwell has high hopes. Caldwell commented on how good of a route runner and pass catcher Riddick is, but how not to think too far ahead before the pads are strapped on.
The Lions have always needed their utility man. They need that short-yardage playmaker underneath that so many great teams with great quarterbacks have relied on in recent history. Wes Welker, Danny Woodhead, Percy Harvin, Dallas Clark, and so many more have helped their quarterbacks become great by just flat-out getting open when they needed a first down.
Riddick can be that guy, and he can do it from all over the field. With Reggie Bush and Joique Bell also being a big part of the passing game, Riddick coming in as a backup or just a change in weaponry will be seamless. The contrasting abilities of guys like Riddick, Eric Ebron, Golden Tate, and Calvin Johnson will really create an offensive coordinator’s dream squad when paired with the arm of Matthew Stafford.
We’ll see how Riddick performs when training camp and preseason really begin, but right now, it seems Riddick will be a key player for the Lions in 2014.