According to the Detroit Free Press, the current starting running back for the Lions is not Abdullah nor is it Joique Bell.
If he needed any extra incentive, he got it last Thursday. He might have been wearing No. 21 instead of No. 20, but his speed had Jets coach Todd Bowles bringing up the two words that Lions fans surely wanted to hear. The running back has been handed a lot of hype this preseason getting comparisons to Barry Sanders amongst other things. “He’s the real deal all the way”.
Risk factors: The hype train is picking up steam, which threatens to drive Abdullah’s price tag beyond a reasonable range…. has exciting ability, but it remains to be seen if he can handle a hefty workload from week to week….
However, he’s been working harder on the sidelines recently, and acknowledges that Detroit’s first game made him push even harder toward a return.
The Detroit Lions plan on relying heavily on their run game in 2015. (7:30 p.m., Ch. 2).
“I just go when they tell me to go”, he said.
“I’d like to be more physical in the passing game and pass protection and keep my feet a little better after cuts”, he said after Tuesday’s training camp practice. “That’s tough to watch”. No one considered drafting him out of Division II Wayne State, where he played his games a few miles away from Ford Field.
On his first carry against the Jets, Zenner sharply turned the corner around the right edge and burst upfield. Both young backs are capitalizing on the added playing time. While Bell might begin the season as the starter and will certainly have a role in the offense, the potential Abdullah already flashed will eventually win out. Abdullah was a terrific student at Nebraska and also stood out for his exploits in the weight room and the community, showing all the intangibles to make an easy transition to the rigors of the NFL…. was used as a runner, receiver, kick returner and punt returner during his Nebraska career, his elite burst and quickness making him an impact player in all areas…. isn’t known as a power runner, which might limit his number of overall touches as Bell plays a bigger role in short-yardage and at the goal-line…. “I’m just working on doing my best and what I have to do”. Caldwell was quick to slow down any calls for Abdullah to be inducted immediately in the Hall of Fame.
The spotlight and all eyes will be on him as they take on the Redskins in this game. “This was just the start”.
“There’s only one Barry Sanders”, Jim Caldwell said the next day, after being informed of Bowles’ comparison.
“Is he really the next Barry Sanders?”
“I think my first preseason game went OK, borderline good, but by no means great”, Abdullah wrote in a blog post on the team’s official website.