Thursday, September 21, 2023
Thursday, September 21, 2023
Home NFLDetroit Lions Lions planning to use rookie running back Gibbs in unexpected ways

Lions planning to use rookie running back Gibbs in unexpected ways

by Moxieplay

Many observers were surprised when the Detroit Lions traded up to select Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs with the 12th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Lions already had 1,000-yard rusher Jamaal Williams in their backfield, as well as the versatile D’Andre Swift — who accounted for nearly 1,000 yards on the ground and through the air in 2022.

But less than five months later, Williams is in New Orleans and Swift is in Philadelphia — leaving Gibbs and David Montgomery as head coach Dan Campbell‘s new tandem behind quarterback Jared Goff.

Gibbs’ arrival has inspired Campbell‘s offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, who has teased to reporters that Detroit has some surprises in store with the rookie running back.

Detroit’s new weapon

Gibbs has reportedly been a standout performer throughout training camp and preseason for Detroit, which is looking to end years of futility this season and claim its first division title since 1993. The Lions have brought back many of the top performers from a top-five scoring offense in 2022, and Johnson spurned potential head coaching opportunities elsewhere to continue coaching at Ford Field.

Johnson left unclear how exactly he sees Gibbs fitting into Detroit‘s potent offense, but what is clear is that there is a plan for the 21-year-old to flummox opponents with his acceleration, athleticism, and pass-catching ability. The reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs will be the first to find out, as they open the season against the Lions on Thursday night.

Can Lions build a winner?

Seeing as Detroit parted with the sixth overall pick and a third-round selection to land Gibbs in April, expectations will be fairly high for the former Georgia Tech running back — even in his rookie season.

Gibbs and Atlanta‘s Bijan Robinson were the highest-drafted running backs this year, top-15 picks in an era where NFL teams do not value the position as they once did. The Lions‘ retooling of its offense on the fly might be just the fix needed to take the team over the top in the NFC North.

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