Running back David Montgomery was solid for the Detroit Lions last week in their win over Kansas City, rushing for 74 yards and a touchdown. Rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs totaled 60 scrimmage yards in his NFL debut on just nine touches and forced seven missed tackles.
Both Lions head coach Dan Campbell and offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said this week we can expect to see more touches from Gibbs Sunday when the Lions host the Seattle Seahawks at Ford Field.
"We will get Gibbs going as he gets more comfortable," Johnson said. "We always have plays tagged for him in the game, but we feel really strongly about David as well. So, that whole combination, that one-two punch, is really good for us."
When told about a potential increase in workload in the locker room on Tuesday, Gibbs smiled.
"I love that," he said.
The Lions think they have something pretty special in the duo of Montgomery and Gibbs. We saw them on the field together some in Kansas City and that's something Johnson said we could see more of because of the versatile skillsets both players have.
We saw Montgomery's tough, physical run style milk the game away in the end with three runs up the middle. He also has some elusiveness to his game. He's solid in the pass game as a protector and pass catcher.
Gibbs' speed stood out last week, but he also showed he's a little tougher and more physical than people might think with the way he finished some of those runs against the Chiefs.
The fun part for Montgomery is knowing that he, Gibbs and the offense as a whole can be so much better in the run game than what they showed in Kansas City.
"We got back to the tape and corrected what we needed to correct," he said. "We need to play better than we did last week."
Seattle was playing No. 5 overall pick Devon Witherspoon in the slot cornerback role a lot before a hamstring injury kept him out of most of training camp and the preseason. Witherspoon returned to practice this week and could make his NFL debut Sunday at Ford Field.
But where will the Seahawks play him? Will it be in the slot? If so, his introduction to the NFL will be against Detroit's Amon-Ra St. Brown, one of the top slot receivers in the NFL.
For St. Brown, there's a little bit of an unknown with Witherspoon. St. Brown said he plans to just play his game and make the rookie adjust to him if he ends up being lined up across from him.
"At the end of the day you don't know what he's going to do, you don't have much tape," St. Brown said Thursday.
"He's a good player. Obviously, he got drafted high for a reason. But for us, it's just going out there and executing what we do. It doesn't matter who's out there. At the end of the day they have to defend me. If I go right, they have to go right."
It will be interesting to see if Seattle double teams St. Brown on third down like the Chiefs did a lot last week. That's something St. Brown might have to start getting used to.
Seattle quarterback Geno Smith rushed for 49 yards and a touchdown in last year's 48-45 win over the Lions in Week 4. It was part of the 235 total rushing yards the Lions allowed to the Seahawks in that contest.
But this is a different defense in Detroit with some new young and veteran players, and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn is hoping for a much different outcome this time around, especially when it comes to containing Smith in the run game and being disciplined in their rush.
"We watched a good amount of his quarterback runs this morning as a coaching staff and then I showed it to our defensive guys," Glenn said Thursday. "It's a problem, but as you look across the league, that was an issue for a number of teams with him as far as him running the ball.
"So, there are some things that we're planning to make sure we're good with that, but man, I'll tell you what, this league is starting to get tough with these quarterbacks running the ball and we just have to be good in that area."