Jim Bob Cooter believes Theo Riddick can play a bigger role in Lions run game

Lions running back Theo Riddick, who has been featured as more of a passing option from the backfield in his three years with the team, has yet to be used in a prominent role in the running game. Can he be a legitimate option in the run game?

“I believe he will. Yeah, I believe he will,” offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter said via the Detroit Lions. “We’re still kind of ironing that out and getting all our reps out here and kind of letting it shake out how it shakes out. But I think Theo can be a really successful runner.

Obviously, all you guys know it, he caught the ball really well last year, was really successful for us in the pass game. We’ve got to find a better way to let him be successful in the run game. I think he’s doing a really good job learning and executing and getting better out here. I see him making strides in the run game.”

Since being selected in the sixth round (199th overall) of the 2013 draft, Riddick has only 72 rushing attempts, and has picked up 209 yards. His biggest strength so far has been catching passes out of the backfield. He has racked up 118 catches for 1,039 yards and seven touchdowns in his career.

Cooter thinks the biggest thing for Riddick progressing is all about repetition.

“I’m a big believer in reps. You know, I get better at things as I do them 10 times, 20 times, 100 times. I think everybody kind of does. You know, there’s some naturals out there, so the more reps he gets receiving a handoff and reading an outside zone or whatever run play you want to talk about, he’s going to get better at that and we can see it out here. I see it the more reps he gets, the better he’s getting.”

During his senior year at the University of Notre Dame, Riddick ran for 917 yards and five touchdowns in 13 games.

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With a plethora of running backs competing for position on the depth chart (Ameer AbdullahZach ZennerStevan RidleyGeorge WinnDwayne Washington, and Riddick), it is a question mark as to whether or not Riddick will actually get many looks as a pure runner.

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