Lions Running Backs

The Lions have an excellent recieving corps with Geroy Simon as the leagues’ best receiver. Clermont is a tough inside reciever with excellent hands and Thelwell is underrated and picks up a lot of YAK yards. Paris Jackson is stepping up and Simmons is a real find who will only get better.

On defence Ritchie’s scheme combined with the additions of Wilson, McKay-Loesher, Phillips, Tiller, and Miles, combined with Glatt getting more of an opportunity has made the defence more aggressive and dynamic.

With the improving play of the Lions offensive line my only minor concern is the Leos do not use their running backs enough in their offence. Warren often needs more touches and Green and Gavadza are often ignored. The Leos need to use the same imagination in their running attack as they do in their passing game. Green and Gavadza could be used for more screens and dump passes over the middle and in the flats. Warren needs to have more variety in the types of run schemes the Leos run. The Leos don’t screen enough and it would take a lot of pressure away from opposing teams who like to blitz linebackers too often.

Any thoughts??

The running game hasn’t been much to speak about so far this season. Not like the 2-back sets they had a few years back when Millington was still playing. Have they ever used Gavadza yet, lined up as a back not as a short-yardage blocker?

I think part of it is that they don’t seem to want or need to have a 2-back or 1-back set to provide extra pass block protection since Clermont is very good at picking up the blitz and is strong enough to take on D-line and linebackers. Although, the sacks Dickenson has taken this season may not prove that point too well. Other than that, it is basically the offensive schemes are relying on 5 and 6 receiver sets. Not sure what happens when they hit fall weather that will make the running game and short passes more important.

You’re right that they like to use five and six reciever sets, especially on second down. I haven’t seen Gavadza except on short yardage sets. Green is usually only in on first downs. Clarmont is good at picking up the blitz but often they have him running a pass pattern. If they have to play on the road in the playoffs they’ll need the running game for sure. I also think it takes some pressure off the offensive line to run the ball instead. At present teams are willing to give up the run to attempt to take away the Leos passing game. Appreciated your analysis Rob.

I agree whole heartedly with the comment that the leos desperately need to shake up their running schemes, throw some variety into the running game. People have been hasselling Warren about his fumbling thus far, but that will improve as the season progresses, plus giving him more touches would help too. It is obvious that we have a dominate pass game, but we need to mix it up, take some defenses by surprise by playing a half decent running game as well.