LIONS INSIDER

Barry Sanders and Reggie Bush see Joique Bell as an important weapon

Posted Feb 2, 2014

Reggie Bush and Joique Bell became the first running back tandem in NFL history to each record at least 500 yards rushing and receiving in a single season

NEW YORK, NY -- Joique Bell grew up a Detroit Lions fan watching Barry Sanders run the football.

What a treat it must be, then, for Bell to now hear the Hall of Fame running back talk about how much he enjoys watching him run the football nowadays.

"Joique came in there and really solidified a place for himself," Sanders said in New York while in town for the Super Bowl this week. "The guy definitely moves the chains. He’s a tough runner and just really becoming a solid NFL running back."

Bell has helped give the Lions a nice one-two punch with Reggie Bush.

"Reggie certainly was dynamic,” Sanders said of Bush’s 1,000-yard season this past year, his first with the team.

Reggie BushRB Reggie Bush (Photo: Gavin Smith)

With Bush and Bell, it appears the Lions have a runner for every situation.

Bush is the big-play back with terrific speed and shifty moves. He became the Lions’ first 1,000-yard rusher since 2004.

Bell gets the tough yards with a tremendous blend of power and balance. He was one of the best third-and-short running backs in the NFL this past season, converting on third and less than three 80 percent of the time (12 of 15). That was the third-best mark in the NFL.

Bell becomes a restricted free agent in March, and the Lions are expected to either offer him a high tender or a long-term extension.

"I think that’s going to be important to get Joique back," Bush said. "He’s a great player. He’s going to be in this league for a long time. He runs hard. I think it’s going to be an important offseason signing for us. We have to get him back."