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Is Kevin Smith still the starter in Detroit? (1 Viewer)


Based on this, is Kevin Smith still the starter in Detroit? What can we expect from him the rest of the season? What impact does Rudi now have?

Kevin Smith was fully healthy in Week 3, but lost most of his carries to Rudi Johnson because Johnson was "feeling it, running and getting it going," according to coach Rod Marinelli."We kind of went with him," added Marinelli after Sunday's game. "He was running hard." Rudi has apparently been impressive in practice and the coaching staff is beginning to gain more confidence in him. Expect him to steal carries from Smith again in Week 4.Source: Detroit News
Not sure this will pan out for a few games...could they just go with the hot hand ? Could Kevin Smith turn up his game a few notches due to Rudi getting the nod ? Could this just turn into a full blown rbbc ? :goodposting:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Johnson carries the load for Lions

Signed just before the season, RB rushes for 83 yards, makes case to join the starting lineup.

Rob Parker / The Detroit News

SAN FRANCISCO -- Running back Rudi Johnson might just have powered himself into the Lions' starting job.

That's how impressive Johnson was in the Lions' 31-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on Sunday afternoon.

Johnson -- whom the Bengals cut and the Lions signed right before the start of the season -- rushed for 83 yards on 14 carries (5.9 average). His longest run was 27 yards. By comparison, rookie Kevin Smith, who started, had three rushes for 14 yards and no carries after intermission.


"It's just getting into the groove, doing my part to help the team win," said Johnson, who had just four carries and 16 yards in the first two games combined.

Coach Rod Marinelli -- whose plan to run the ball was derailed again when the Lions fell behind 14-0 early -- didn't plan on running Johnson more than Smith in the second half, but Johnson's play dictated him getting the bulk of the work.

"I think he just got in and he started feeling it, running and getting it going," Marinelli said of Johnson. "So we kind of went with him. He was running hard."

Johnson, 32, didn't know how the Lions would divide the running load; he just wanted to be ready when his time came.

"I was just going in making plays, making sure they had the confidence in me," he said. "That's the main thing."

The bulk of his work is done in practice, not in games.

"Each and every day, I give the coaches confidence that I know what I'm doing," said Johnson, an eighth-year pro. "Once I do that, I can just go out and play."

Johnson said he's starting to get the offensive system run by the Lions. "Every week is a stepping stone," he said. "Every practice I'm looking to get better, looking to learn more and get comfortable with the offense.

"This is another week. I'm going to take advantage of the bye week and hope to be even better next time out."

When asked if he still had confidence his 0-3 team could turn the season around, Johnson didn't hesitate to answer.

"Yeah, I believe in the guys," he said. "I believe in the coaching staff and the players in here to get it done."

He did his part Sunday

Smith's the starter, but Marinelli will go with the hot hand. As I said in another post, there is no D in Detroit and they're going to have to pass their way to wins.

It's going to take more than 1 week to determine this. We may not know who the starter is for 4 or 5 weeks, if one even emerges at all. Personally I rostered them both, and when bye weeks come, I'll just have to go with whatever trend is there.


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