Skip to main content

Green hopes to earn another chance to compete

There are going to be changes in Detroit's backfield in 2018. General manager Bob Quinn said as much when speaking to reporters after the season.

"Will we add someone probably to that room? Absolutely," Quinn said earlier this month.

The Lions were last in rushing (76.3 yards per game) this past season, and have been trending that way in each of the last four seasons. Detroit's leading rusher, Ameer Abdullah, ranked 36th in the NFL in rushing with 552 yards, which was fewer than quarterbacks Cam Newton (754) and Russell Wilson (586).

So, it won't be surprising at all if Quinn tries to give Detroit's rushing attack a boost both via free agency and the NFL Draft this offseason.

Where that leaves Detroit's current crop of backs under contract is yet to be determined, but rookie Tion Green is hoping to get another opportunity to impress in the spring.

Green made Detroit's 53-man roster out of training camp as an undrafted rookie from Cincinnati last September, but was inactive on gameday most of the season. It wasn't until Week 13 in Baltimore that he finally got his shot to play. Green's first NFL carry that week went for 33 yards. He later scored a touchdown in that contest.

He played in the next four games for Detroit, and totaled 165 yards on 42 carries (3.9 average) with two scores. His 3.9 average was the best among Lions running backs this season.

"Tion Green runs the ball hard, runs physically and he's got a certain knack," said Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter late in the season. "He's got a certain knack for running the football.

"He's a young running back in this league. I think he's going to continue to improve running the football, and in different areas that sort of young running backs traditionally improve. Tion, we're excited about where he's heading."

Green has good size at 6-foot and 220 pounds, and obviously showed enough promise early on to warrant a roster spot all season long. When given an opportunity to play late in the year, he took advantage of it.

Now heading into his first true offseason, Green knows if he's going to be a part of Detroit's new-look backfield in 2018, he has to make a big jump from year one to year two.

View photos of the Detroit Lions running backs in 2017.

"I'm going to work on my body and my nutrition and just try to develop myself," said Green, who kept his place in Detroit and plans to stay in the area to train this offseason. "Work on my hip mobility and find all my weaknesses and try to get better."

It will be interesting to see what kind of transformations Green can make to himself with a offseason to focus on those weaknesses. Will it be enough to allow him to throw his hat into the running back competition this spring?

"I'm a competitor," Green said. "Those (first) 13 weeks last year were hard knowing that there were a lot of situations last year I could have helped the team.

"Going into this year, I just want no excuses. I want to show guys that I'm trustworthy. That on 3rd and 1, 4th and goal, goal line or whatever the case may be, first down, second down, third down, that they can leave me out there."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content