Detroit Lions running back Joique Bell impressed many throughout the 2013 NFL season. As the No. 2 back in the pecking order, Bell rushed for 650 yards and eight touchdowns on 166 carries.
Well, heading into 2014, Bell might be the No. 2 back no longer, even if he doesn’t start games. Ben Goessling of ESPN.com speculates that the 28-year-old might just lead Detroit in carries this season over Reggie Bush.
The most intriguing position battle has little to do with actual playing time, but more an allocation of snaps and touches between Reggie Bush and Joique Bell. Both figure to receive a lot of touches as new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi will likely use many backs in a bunch of different roles. Bell may actually receive more carries as a straight runner and could be more valuable in goal-line situations. Bush is going to be a piece used out of the backfield and also out wide so his receptions could skyrocket.
Considering Bush’s speed and pass-catching ability, using him heavily out wide and having Bell line up as the running back more frequently makes a lot of sense. Detroit hired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi away from the New Orleans Saints this offseason and he knows a thing or two about successfully managing multiple runners.
The Lions have one of the more dynamic offenses in the NFL and possessing two very capable running backs certainly plays a big role in that.