I keep hearing about Theo Riddick. The other players on the Detroit Lions can’t seem to stop praising him. Joique Bell feels Riddick could end up in the pro bowl this year. Dan Orlovsky sees the Lions making sure eight plays a game are run with the intention of throwing to Riddick. Orlovsky also thinks that no one can cover Riddick and that he could end up in a Darren Sproles type role in this offense.
I’ll believe it when I see it. Obviously the Lions felt he was worth keeping around last year, he was active for 14 games which is more than can be said about Mikel Leshoure. Riddick managed to gain a paltry 51 yards in those games, mostly seeing time on special teams due to Reggie Bush and the emerging Joique Bell getting the majority of the playing time. Bush and Bell make a great combo and are both known as pass catchers out of the backfield, or at least they were. Bush had the highest dropped pass percentage in the NFL. He and Bell both became risks to fumble by the end of the year on any given play. If they continue in that pattern, then yes, I would expect more playing time for Riddick, but otherwise, there just aren’t enough plays to spread the ball to that many people.
Calvin Johnson is going to catch close to 100 passes this year. Golden Tate should check in around 60 if things are going right. Bush and Bell should combine for around 70, as should Eric Ebron and Brandon Pettigrew. That, if my estimation is correct, is 300 passes. Stafford will probably have around 400 total completions based on this offense and his history. So, between Ryan Broyles, Kris Durham, Joseph Fauria and anyone else who ends up lining up at wide receiver and tight end, there’s a total of 100 passes to be distributed. I don’t see Riddick being a major factor in that unless Bell or Bush falter.
If Riddick is on the field more often, I would assume it’s because of injury or the failure of someone else. The hype machine is on full spin concerning Riddick and he may jump out and have a very much unexpected season, especially in this style of offense, but, until it happens I would consider it very unlikely.