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  1. #271
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    http://www.freep.com/article/2014070...s-theo-riddick

    Detroit Lions' Dan Orlovsky: Theo Riddick will be our version of Darren Sproles

    Well, fantasy owners, if you believe Detroit Lions backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky, you should draft running back Theo Riddick with a sleeper pick.

    Orlovsky said on the Ross Tucker Football Podcast today that he sees Riddick inhabiting a similar role as that of Darren Sproles and predicts he will have a breakout season and catch 50 passes.

    “I’m telling you, if he doesn’t 50 catches this year, I’ll be surprised because he’s going to have opportunities and he’s very talented at it,” Orlovsky said. “I think he’s going to play that Sproles role, for sure.”

    Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi is familiar with Sproles’ work in New Orleans, where Sproles served as a running back who caught the ball out of the backfield and worked in the open field.

    Orlovsky based his opinion on what he saw from Riddick’s off-season work. And even though the defense was had a big disadvantage with rules limiting contact, Orlovsky said he expects even more out of Riddick when the pads come on in training camp later this month.

    “I mean this kid, he wasn’t covered a single time in OTAs and minicamp. He was not covered,” Orlovsky said. “And I think it’s even going to be easier when he gets pads on because once linebackers just try to start colliding him, and that’s what teams started to do with Sproles sometimes, you hit the home run one out of every 10 plays. And then nine out of 10 times, Sproles wins. And that’s what I think Theo’s going to do that for us.”

    Only Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush and Joique Bell had 50 catches last year. It might seem unlikely for Riddick to get 50 catches with the additions of Eric Ebron and Golden Tate, but Orlovsky said he still sees it.

    “He will because he’s going to have eight plays a game that are called for him,” Orlovsky said. “He’s going to have eight passes a game, whether they’re screens, whether they’re one-on-ones, whether they’re checkdowns, where they’re going to be pass plays called for him. Walking away from the OTAs and minicamp, I don’t see him getting covered on more than one (of those plays).”

  2. #272
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    http://www.freep.com/article/2014070...ue-bell-injury

    Detroit Lions' Joique Bell dismisses knee worries; touts Theo Riddick

    Detroit Lions running back Joique Bell had plenty to say today at his youth football camp about his enigmatic knee surgery, his health status and running behind a fullback — and he also predicted that teammate Theo Riddick will be a Pro Bowler.

    Bell, who did not take part in the practice portion of Lions off-season workouts and minicamp because of a knee injury, caught a little heat from general manager Martin Mayhew after he posted a picture in May of his left knee in a wrap, next to a pair of crutches.

    The natural assumption was that Bell had surgery. The Lions have refused to confirm or deny it. But Bell said — while perhaps biting the tongue in his cheek — that the photo was just one big misunderstanding.

    "What picture?" Bell said during a rain delay at his camp at West Bloomfield High. "Oh, that was just ice on my knee. Another hard workout. It kind of bothered me a little bit. Put some ice on it. That's all it was. I took (the picture) down. There were too many rumors going around, so I took it down to save face."

    Bell said he's been running hard and is doing well physically while he's been working out in Los Angeles. He has incorporated some mixed martial arts into his training.

    "I'm making a lot of progress, a lot of progress," he said. "Actually started back running full speed, got cleared for full go probably two weeks, a week after minicamp. I'm feeling 100%. I'm feeling great."

    Most Lions players report for training camp July 27. But Bell and other players recovering from injuries will report July 22. Team doctors and trainers will determine during those days whether Bell can start camp on time.

    Bell started his MMA training before season and said he likes all-encompassing nature of the work and that it’s easy on his joints. He also enjoyed having his 8-year-old son, Jordan, tag along in California.

    “I took my son to (Reggie Bush’s) ProCamp in San Diego,” he said. “And my son actually trained with me for the first week in L.A. So I brought him out there.

    “He’s just running around and jumping on backs, so I got him out there to teach him a few techniques as well. I mean, just having fun and let him understand what his dad does on this off-season.”

    Riddick has gotten rave reviews from teammates and coaches all off-season. Quarterback Dan Orlovsky banged the drum a little louder during a podcast interview Monday, and Bell amplified the drum beat today.

    "His body is in great shape, probably 7% body fat," Bell said. "You see his route running from out the backfield, it's really crisp. He looks like a Reggie (Bush). Just some of the moves you see him do in practice against some of the linebackers. We sit back in the meeting room, we sit back we laugh. He gets them every time with the same move, like you can't stop it. You can't stop it.

    "The only thing I can say is he's going to keep learning and keep getting better. He keeps doing what he's been doing, he'll be a Pro Bowler in no time. I was thinking down the line, but he definitely has the potential to be a great running back in this league."

  3. #273
    Senior Member NotreDameNate's Avatar
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    Really glad to hear these comments from his teammates. Hopefully it continues and he becomes a star. Really loved him at ND and glad to hear these great comments.
    KeiVarae Russell: "When the coaches told me over the next few days in the film room that I was gonna start I was like ‘Uh Oh’.”

  4. #274
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    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/spo...ield/31867879/

    Riddick ready to rumble in rebuilt Lions backfield

    Allen Park — After the Lions' win over the Jets in the preseason opener, much of the talk was about rookie running back Ameer Abdullah, who had 67 yards on seven carries, including a highlight-reel 45-yard jaunt.

    Another rookie, Zach Zenner, drew some raves for gaining 55 yards on 13 carries in the second half. It's a positive development for the Lions' running game, which ranked 28th in the NFL last season, averaging 88.9 yards.

    But with Joique Bell still on the physically unable to perform list, the starting back last week — and listed as the starter on this week's depth chart for Thursday's preseason game at Washington — is Theo Riddick.

    Bell is close to returning after knee and Achilles issues and his return could give the Lions the depth and versatility they've sought from the position, especially after Reggie Bush's struggles last year.

    The days of having an every-down back have gone by the wayside and the Lions, with Abdullah, Bell and Riddick, have assembled a venerable stable of backs that fit well with their offense. Given injuries and multiple play situations, most teams need multiple, talented backs.

    "It requires more than one or two (backs), so there's a role for all of those guys," coach Jim Caldwell said. "We don't have two guys the same for the most part. They all have a little different sort of strength and we can utilize that."

    "You know, Joique is a power back who also can get on the edge and he can catch the ball out of the backfield. Theo (Riddick) is probably a little bit more of an edge guy. I'm not saying he can't run inside, but he's along the edge a little bit more. I think when you get a chance to see Ameer (Abdullah), you'll kind of see what his style is as well. He's pretty versatile."

    In the win over the Jets, the Lions rushed for 193 yards; they reached the 100-yard mark only five times last season, with a season-high of 138 against the Bears in Week 15.

    Riddick registered just 51 yards on 20 carries in 2014, but was fourth on the team with 316 receiving yards. He often lined up in the slot and was more of a threat out of the backfield as a receiver than a traditional rushing back.

    In the preseason opener, Riddick averaged 4.4 yards (35 yards on eight carries) and showed flashes of speed and power that bode well for his production this year.

    "Theo got some tough yards, great effort plays and then also he made some people miss, which he's certainly capable of doing," Caldwell said. "So it was fun to get an opportunity to see him go at it a little bit and I thought on the ground he was productive."

    At 5-foot-10 and 201 pounds, Riddick isn't built to take the high-frequency contact that Bell can. But his dual ability as a receiver makes him as important to the offense, as he looks to expand his role this year and exploit favorable matchups.

    "I just took advantage of the opportunities I was given and fortunately I made the best out of those plays," Riddick said. "(Receiving ability) definitely helps because it's an extra receiver out there. You can create mismatches with strong safeties and linebackers. It's another element to the game that we bring."

    Although Abdullah was drafted in the second round and has been the talk of the backfield during training camp, Riddick doesn't have an adversarial relationship with the rookie. In fact, expanding the capability of the position can serve to make more opportunities for all of them.

    "He's a teammate, so I'm looking out for his best interests, and mine as well," Riddick said. "I'm just trying to help him out, speed him up on a few things along with Joique and other players who have been here for a little bit.

    "We're all in this together, man. We're one whole team."

  5. #275
    Moderator IrishDodger's Avatar
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    Watch our boy juke the Saints LB out of his jock

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2...mming-national

  6. #276
    Senior Member NotreDameNate's Avatar
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    Really liked him at ND, and even though I'm a Bears fan, very glad to see him doing well in the NFL.
    KeiVarae Russell: "When the coaches told me over the next few days in the film room that I was gonna start I was like ‘Uh Oh’.”

  7. #277
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    he had almost the exact same amount of yardage this year as tate.

    who could've seen that coming?
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  8. #278
    Senior Member lowayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njuneardave View Post
    he had almost the exact same amount of yardage this year as tate.

    who could've seen that coming?
    Not that I saw it coming, but it was clear the Lion's were under-utilizing him.
    "Doggonnit............The Lord gave you two legs, protect them" - Coach Hart

  9. #279
    Moderator IrishDodger's Avatar
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    Cut by the Lions. Probably won’t be out of work very long.

  10. #280
    Senior Member Irish Joe's Avatar
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    Yea, I imagine someone swoops up Theo pretty quick

    Member of the Irish Guard, GH Division

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