Former Lions RB Mel Farr believes this year's combination of runners will work for Detroit

Posted Jul 9, 2013

Says Farr of free agent addition Reggie Bush: "You need a running back that can break it and Reggie can break it and break it all the way"

Mel FarrMel Farr (Photo: AP Images)

It's only natural when Mel Farr watches a Detroit Lions football game that his focus leans a little more towards the run game.

That's understood seeing how Farr was the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1967 and played in two Pro Bowls during his seven seasons as a Lions' running back from 1967 to 1973.

It was obvious from watching Detroit in 2012 that the big play was missing from their rushing attack. Farr, however, thinks the addition of Reggie Bush to the roster will bring that element back into play in 2013.

"I think that he's going to surprise a lot of people by the way he's going to be able to run the football," Farr told "He's going to get a lot of yards because teams are going to be playing the pass. I can see a lot of draws and traps with him."

Farr also thinks the addition of Bush will help running back Mikel Leshoure, who's entering his third season in the NFL with the Lions, but only his second on the field after missing his rookie season with a torn Achilles tendon.

"Hey, you're the guy that's supposed to go in there and get the tough yards," Farr said of Leshoure. "I think he has to learn how to slow it down. When I say slow it down ... slow down his thought process. Slow it down, so that he can take that player that's right there and make a move on that player, right now.

"Reggie is the guy that's supposed to go in there and break it. You need a running back that can break it and Reggie can break it and break it all the way."

Farr thinks Bush and Leshoure on the same roster will allow the other to play to his strengths.

The Lions averaged 4.1 yards per carry last season, but didn't have enough explosive runs of 20-plus yards to make defenses really worry about their run game. In fact, the team's four runs of 20-plus yards in 2012 tied for the fewest in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers.

That's the big reason Detroit made Bush one of their primary free agent targets. They've added that element back into their offense and have a compliment of rushers in Bush, Leshoure, Joique Bell and others with a wide range of skill sets. The Lions, no doubt, have a specific plan for how they're going to use Bush, Leshoure and all of their other backs.

When the Lions drafted Leshoure in 2011 they had the idea of pairing him with a speed back like Jahvid Best to give their backfield some diversity. It didn't happen in 2011 because of Leshoure's Achilles injury and again in 2012 because Best never received clearance to come off the PUP list.

In Bush, the Lions have added the missing piece to the puzzle they envisioned before the 2011 season. We'll find out soon enough if the pieces fit together like Farr thinks they will.