LIONS INSIDER

Dan Orlovsky sees Theo Riddick in Darren Sproles-esque role

Posted Jul 8, 2014

It appears Theo Riddick's impressive spring performance has left an impression on backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky.

Theo Riddick was one of the three players offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi singled out this spring as impressive.

Riddick, the second-year running back out of Notre Dame, saw an increased workload during OTAs and minicamp with Joique Bell recovering from a knee injury.

It appears Riddick’s performance this spring not only left an impression on coaches, but teammates too, especially backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky.

Theo RiddickRB Theo Riddick (Photo: AP Images)

“I mean this kid, he wasn’t covered a single time in OTAs and minicamp. He was not covered,” Orlovsky told Ross Tucker in his football podcast. “And I think that it’s even going to be easier when he gets pads on because once linebackers just try to start colliding him, and that’s what teams started to do with (Darren) Sproles sometimes, you hit the home run one out of every 10 plays. And then nine out of 10 times, Sproles wins. And that’s what I think Theo’s going to do for us.”

Orlovsky is referring to former New Orleans running back Darren Sproles, who averaged 77 catches over the last three seasons in the Saints offense.

The Lions have adopted a lot of concepts from the Saints offense and have watched a lot of their game film to help learn Lombardi’s version of the offense.

“I’m telling you, if he doesn’t get 50 catches this year, I’ll be surprised because he’s going to have opportunities and he’s very talented at it,” Orlovsky said. “I think he’s going to play that Sproles role, for sure.”

Riddick did perform well this offseason but we shouldn’t forget Bell is scheduled to be back in training camp and he’s going to be a big part of this offense along with Reggie Bush.

The additions of tight end Eric Ebron and receiver Golden Tate will also make it difficult for a player like Riddick to reach Orlovsky’s high expectations, but it’s a good sign lofty goals have already been placed on a second-year player who was a sixth-round draft pick last year.

“He’s going to have eight plays a game that are called for him,” Orlovsky said of Riddick. “He’s going to have eight passes a game, whether they’re screens, whether they’re one-on-ones, whether they’re check downs, where they’re going to be pass plays called for him. Walking away from the OTAs and minicamp, I don’t see him getting covered on more than one (of those plays).”