Reggie Bush ran for more than 1,000 yards with the Lions in 2013, which ended an eight-year stretch without a back reaching that milestone but it proved to be a momentary change in fortunes on the ground.
No Lions back has run for more than 860 yards in any of the last six seasons and they moved to address the run game in multiple ways this offseason. They drafted running back D’Andre Swift in the second round before adding guards Jonah Jackson and Logan Stenberg later in the proceedings.
They also signed likely right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai in free agency and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is hopeful that the new faces on the offensive line are the key to opening the floodgates on the ground.
“You really want those tough, nasty grinders because that’s what it is in the run game,” Bevell said, via the team’s website. “It’s a grown man’s type of game and I’ve always talked on here that’s something we really hang our hat on and we weren’t able to do it as well as we wanted to last year. So, hopefully some of these additions will be able to help us do that.”
Quarterback Matthew Stafford said earlier this offseason that being in the same offense for a second season is an advantage and a step up on the ground would go a long way toward making the most out of that advantage in Detroit.