A few days ago I wrote an entry about Kevin Smith, who at the time, looked to be the rising star in the Lions backfield. He looked to have a carte blanche when it came to the upcoming season with only a struggling Tatum Bell and a lagging Artose Pinner as potential obstacles. Who would have known that a few days later a move in Cincinnati would have set off a chain of events that included some personnel changes, lost luggage and a new look on the future – consider this your average holiday travel season.
Let’s get this out of the way – the Dre Bly trade to Denver was a complete disaster. Sure the Lions got rid of what was seemingly a cancer in the locker room, but the alternative seems to be essentially George Foster and his continuous penalties. Then the news today that Rudi Johnson’s Gucci bags apparently found their way to Tatum Bell’s vehicle along with his clothes and around $200. Bell may have had a shot at one of 31 other teams, that was until he decided to pull his latest class act. This move comes from the same guy who felt that Mike Martz didn’t give him a great chance, so he showed up this preseason and had a total of 30 yards. Yes, that’s a total and that’s very bad.
For Rudi Johnson, he showed that this was the job that he wanted the most. His willingness to learn the playbook as soon as possible along with his history of success in Cincy demonstrated that he was looking to prove himself again. This Sunday in Atlanta, Johnson will join Smith in the backfield for the Lions, a look that Lions fans will surely enjoy. Clearly the combos of the past few years have not worked effectively and this change is one potential bright spot when the season starts Sunday.