Three years ago, the Cardinals hoped that running back Ameer Abdullah would slide to them. The Cardinals had to settle for David Johnson instead. They may get another chance at Abdullah.
However it plays out, it’s clear that the Lions have shifted away sharply from the idea that Abdullah will be moving the chains on a regular basis.
When we get to the physical part of it, obviously teams that have been going against us the last couple of years, it’s a little bit different tackling LeGarrette than it was maybe tackling Ameer in the hole, running backs coach David Walker has said, as quoted in the article at DetroitLions.com. He’ll have a chance to be a guy who’ll give us a physical presence in the backfield that maybe we didn’t have as consistently as we’d like last season.
Abdullah has had three seasons of chances to become that guy. The signing of Blount and the drafting of Johnson underscores the fact that Abdullah hasn’t gotten it done. The only question left is whether he leaves the team before or after the final year of his rookie contract, and whether if he goes before Week One it’s by trade or a release.
The thing that excites me about this team is the confidence and the work ethic that’s in that building, Talib said, via Robert Klemko of SI.com. It starts with McVay. You can tell the work he puts in because he knows everything. He knows the whole defense and the whole offense. I think that confidence breeds success. All the successful teams I’ve been on have had great, hard-working offseasons and a super confident bunch of guys.
There can be a fine line between confidence and overconfidence, something Talib’s teammate Michael Brockers referenced while cautioning his teammates not to fall into the hype that’s followed last year’s division title and this offseason’s moves for Talib, Marcus Peters, Ndamukong Suh and Brandin Cooks. It seems Talib believes the Rams are right where they need to be with training camp about to start.
What needs work? Jameis Winston should have had a breakout third year after a great second season, but instead he and the rest of the Bucs offense (minus Mike Evans) took a gigantic step back in 2017—and likely missing the first three games of the season due to a suspension isn’t going to help. Winston needs to improve his tendency for turnovers and his connection with WR DeSean Jackson, while his offensive coordinator and head coach need to put him in better situations to win. The QB had a career-low 11 interceptions but led the league in fumbles with 15 (at least he also led the league in recoveries with seven!). His 6.9% sack rate was the highest of his career thanks to a bad offensive line. On top of that, Jackson’s 13.4 yards per reception was by far the lowest of his career. All of that needs major work if the Bucs want to see the playoffs for the first time since 2007.