LIONS INSIDER

Abdullah has a lot he wants to achieve this year

Posted May 17, 2017

After missing most of last season, running back Ameer Abdullah has a lot he wants to achieve this year.

Lions general manager Bob Quinn has been 100 percent behind third-year running back Ameer Abdullah with both his words and actions this offseason.

Quinn stood pat at the position in free agency, and didn’t draft a running back last month, either.

“Our running backs, when they’re healthy, and we feel they’re going to be ready for the season, are more than capable of producing enough yards on the ground,” Quinn said.

Head coach Jim Caldwell threw his support behind Abdullah as well when he spoke to reporters last week before the start of the team’s rookie minicamp.

“I believe Ameer Abdullah, when he’s healthy and rolling, he’s awfully good,” Caldwell said. “All you have to do is just take a look at the numbers. Don’t listen to me. Look at the numbers and see when he’s on the field for you what he does.”

The Lions had one of the NFL’s worst rushing attacks last season, but Abdullah was off to a promising start before he was lost for the year with a foot injury Week 2.

Abdullah ran for 101 yards on 18 carries and caught five passes for 57 yards before injuring his foot. The Lions rushed for at least 100 yards as a team in both the games Abdullah played in before the injury. They didn’t do it again the rest of the year.

Back on the field this offseason and healthy, Abdullah is set on rewarding the faith the Lions have put in him this offseason with a big season on the ground in 2017.

“I feel like for me, personally, I’ve got a lot that I want to achieve. A lot that I left out there last year that could have been,” Abdullah said at Wednesday’s Taste of the Lions event.

“This year, I’m really attacking things with a more focused mindset of getting everything done.”

Abdullah has always been passionate about the game, but he said missing as much time as he did last season reminds a player how much they really love the game.

“I got a lot of time to sit down and think and watch a lot of football and a lot of times I was depressed at times not being out there with my teammates,” he said.

“I felt like I was letting them down, even though it was something out of my control. I feel like I let a lot of people down because I wasn’t out there. Anytime you feel like that, you really know you love this game.”

Abdullah can’t wait to start OTAs next week, and says he isn’t taking a single minute he gets to step on the field with his teammates for granted.

Quinn went out and improved the offensive line this offseason with the signings of Rick Wagner and T.J. Lang. It appears he thinks the key to getting the Lions to be a more consistent football team running the ball is improving the offensive line and getting Abdullah healthy, not getting someone else to replace him.

“Last year was a great start,” Abdullah said. “I got cut short pretty early, but I can take a lot from last year.

“I was a lot more confident heading into the year. A lot more poised. Just heading into year three, I’m taking more of a vocal role and I’m letting the guys know that if we want to be a good team we have to do it together and that’s where I feel like the element of the team is really changing. I feel if we all stay healthy we can be a really good team.”