LIONS INSIDER

Stafford already a fan of Ameer Abdullah

Posted Jun 8, 2015

It didn't take long for rookie running back Ameer Abdullah to make a good impression on quarterback Matthew Stafford.

It’s tough this time of year to see the true impact rookie running back Ameer Abdullah will have on the Lions’ offense in 2015.

The team drafted Abdullah in the second round of the draft last month to be a big-play threat in their offense and potentially a return man on special teams.

Without pads, it’s tough to truly measure his ability, but count quarterback Matthew Stafford in as an early fan.

Matthew Stafford, Ammer AbdullahAbdullah and Stafford (Photo: Detroit Lions)

“I think as a runner he has great balance,” Stafford said after a recent OTA practice. “He’s obviously a low-to-the-ground guy. He seems to hide pretty well behind there and he’s got good vision.

“Out of the backfield, catching the ball, he’s great. He’s got great hands. He has a good feel for route running.

Abdullah rushed for 1,690 yards in 2013 and 1,611 this past season at Nebraska. He finished his college career with 813 carries for 4,588 yards (5.6 average) and 39 touchdowns.

He also caught 73 passes for 690 yards and seven touchdowns.

Joique Bell has yet to participate in the on-the-field activities this offseason as he continues to rehab from offseason surgery. That’s given Abdullah a chance to take some first-team reps along with third-year back Theo Riddick.

Abdullah has looked comfortable as a receiver out of the backfield and his ability to go from 0-60 in a heartbeat has been evident in the run game.

Jim Caldwell said earlier this offseason that a good run game is a quarterback's best friend. Stafford agrees.

“All the guys we have in our backfield I’m pretty fired up about,” he said.