FB Collins gives Lions more versatility with run game

Posted Mar 19, 2014

Detroit Lions running backs coach Curtis Modkins has big plans for a loaded backfield with the addition of a fullback

Curtis Modkins and new Lions fullback Jed Collins have a history.

Jed CollinsFB Jed Collins (Photo: AP Images)

It’s a brief history, but history nonetheless.

Collins spent a brief time on the Arizona practice squad in 2009, when the current Lions running backs coach held the same title with the Cardinals.

Collins also has a familiarity with the new offense the Lions are planning to run under offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi having spent the last three years running it in New Orleans.

“He’s going to be very familiar with a lot of our concepts,” Modkins told “He’s on film doing those concepts and doing some things we’re going to ask the position to do. That’s a big-time bonus.

"He has an experience level playing the position. He has an experience level in a lot of things we’re going to do and he’ll be good at the things we’re going to ask him to do.”

The Lions haven’t had a true fullback since Jerome Felton in 2010 and Modkins said Collins would add a little more diversity and also some toughness to the Lions rushing attack.

“I think one of the things a fullback does do, there’s a thought process that goes through your mind when you have a fullback, a toughness kind of attitude,” he said. “I think just the type of plays that you run when you have a fullback in the game are sometimes different than you run when you don’t have one. That’s part of it.”

Modkins said the Lions certainly wouldn’t lose touch of what made them successful rushing the football last year with Reggie Bush and Joique Bell, but Collins will allow them to expand the playbook a little more and give them more options and sub packages.

“There will be some different schematic stuff for (Bush and Bell) having a fullback in front of them, definitely,” Modkins said.

It will be a different dynamic than what Lions fans have been used to over the last few years, when the Lions went away from a true fullback. Expect to see packages with Bush and Collins, Bell and Collins and Bush and Bell in 2014. Collins gives Modkins options, especially in short-yardage situations.

“They are starting to install an offense that I know, which brings a lot of comfort.” Collins said Wednesday. “Offensively, you want ground and pound, and the tough yards, I think that’s what the fullback kind of symbolizes.

“But also, a lot of good receivers need some good deep shots and play action kind of opens that up. Whatever they need, I’m here for. I know who I am as a player and I think I’m going to fit well.”