Lions: Bell on fast(er) track to replace Bush?
It’s no secret that Reggie Bush has never quite lived up to the hype he created coming out of college. While sometimes an exciting runner, he’s never been considered among the best in the league. Now it seems he might not even be the best on his team.
Undrafted running back Joique Bell has been giving Bush a run for his money, not just last year but early on this season as well. While Bush received a lion’s share of the carries for Detroit in 2013 (223 to Bell’s 166), Bush was only on the field for 63 more snaps than Bell. So far this season Bell has played 77 snaps to the 62 snaps played by Bush.
While the Lions continue to publicly state that Bush is their starter, it’s easy to understand why they might be looking at Bell as both their present and future. Last season Bell graded out at an overall +12.5, while Bush only managed a +0.4 grade. In the passing game, Bell had a higher grade, more yards per route run and less drops. In what is supposed to be Bush’s strong suit, he was outshone by Bell. In fact, runs of over 15 yards was the only thing that Bush was significantly better at than Bell.
The Lions seem to have noticed and are giving Bell more and more opportunities early on this season. He’s had 10 more carries and has been targeted 3 more times than Bush has. While the Lions run game hasn’t exactly been a threat, it speaks volumes that Bell has been the go-to running back so far this season. While it’s only been two games, look to see if the Lions continue to give Bell the starter’s share of the snaps this week and for the rest of the season.