Detroit Lions running back Ameer Abdullah set some time aside during his team’s Week 9 bye to reflect upon the first half of his rookie season.
Abdullah is the leading rusher on a 1-7 team with 225 yards on 63 carries (3.6 yards per carry). The Lions struggle to run the ball in general (69.6 rushing yards per game, last in NFL), so the young back is naturally frustrated with how his first eight games as a professional have gone.
Abdullah wrote about his role with the Lions and his hopes for the second half of the season in his rookie blog on the team’s official website. Here’s an excerpt:
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That’s been my big focus in the bye week, a little self-reflection. I want to be a guy you can trust running the ball, in the pass game, returning the football. I feel like I’m definitely one of the better playmakers on the team, but sometimes you don’t get to see that because of the situation of the game. If I’m out of the game for whatever reason, that only hurts the team because we need all the guys who are playmakers on the field all the time. I consider myself one of those people. The more I can do to keep myself on the field, the better.
For the most part, the run game in Jim Bob Cooter’s offense is the same. We just need more attention to detail. We can still make a run this season, finish off strong and hang our hat on something. It starts with running the football, in my opinion. We haven’t done it much this year. I know as a group some games we only combined for 15 carries.
To be successful as a team, we need to run the ball more. We have to be better in the passing game too because when we get behind in games, we can’t run the ball. I think running the ball this second half is going to be critical for the success of this team. I take this as a challenge. I’m looking forward to it because this is all I ever wanted to do: Run the football and prove myself.
Abdullah, a second-round pick in this year’s draft, is a dynamic offensive weapon. The Lions just haven’t been able to employ him with consistency yet.
If Detroit ever gets its ground game back on track, this young runner will be a fun player to watch. Until then, his potential is wasted on a team that can’t seem to get out of its own way.