Martin Mayhew and his staff are apparently sly like foxes. When they managed to lure Reggie Bush to Detroit, they must have already known about the durability issues that have hovered around the running back his entire career. But talent on his level tends to offset such concerns, at least in the short term. But the worries must never leave the back of one’s mind, and when the Lions were on the clock in the sixth round and Theo Riddick was sitting there, a chance to provide quality backup for Reggie Bush with similar style and skill sets was too good to pass up. So the Lions took “Bush Lite”.
Now, before everyone begins to roll their eyes skyward, listen up. Theo Riddick is good enough to contribute right away, and with the skills he currently has, can be deadly out of the backfield on short pass plays. He plays tough and when running the ball, simply has Bush-like open field moves and better than average speed to go with them. All of this comes in a smaller package, but the quickness, speed and pass catching ability are all there. With some coaching, he may be able to make people wonder if Reggie Bush got thrown into a clothes dryer and shrunk a little.
You might as well go out now and get your jerseys with “Bush Lite” in the name plate. He has the potential to be that good. And Reggie Bush is quite a yardstick to be measured against.
The biggest concern is probably that Riddick should not try to be Bush Lite. He has to be Theo Riddick, train like Theo Riddick and most of all, play like Theo Riddick. If he tries to over-impersonate his teammate, all is lost.
Riddick will have to correct one big bugaboo right out of the chute. He does not present good ball security as has been said before here and elsewhere. He truly needs to correct that deficiency or his chances of making the roster and/or seeing substantial playing time could be at risk.
Theo Riddick will need to prove himself and his skills as Theo Riddick, but expect the comparisons to a slightly diluted Reggie Bush to continue.
Earl Richmond is a long suffering Detroit Lions fan and division writer for TPF. He can be reached at ERichmond@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com