The years of Matthew Stafford slinging the football around more than any other quarterback in the NFL appear to be over with as the Lions look to be heading into a more two-dimensional style of offense with their latest addition.
The combination of Reggie Bush and Joique Bell will now have a lead blocker to open up more holes on the ground as the Lions have now signed free agent fullback Jed Collins to a one-year deal.
Collins, who spent the last four seasons with the New Orleans Saints, will be reunited with offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, who was the previous quarterbacks coach for New Orleans. The 28-year old played in 16 games in 2013, recording 15 carries for 45 rushing yards and one touchdown.
Due to the fact that Collins saw limited time carrying the ball, he will most likely have the same role in Detroit as he did with the Saints, by playing mostly special teams and blocking. Along with Collins, the Lions now have two fullbacks on the roster heading into training camp, as they just re-signed Montell Owens to a two-year deal.
General manager Matin Mayhew told reporters at last month’s combine in Indianapolis that he expects his fullbacks to be tough and physical athletes who can perform different tasks for the team.
“I’ve kind of always liked to have a fullback around,” Mayhew said. “The problem has been if the guy’s just going to be I-back and that’s all he’s going to do, he’s going to play 10 snaps, then how do you keep him active? So you got to have a fullback that can do multiple things, I think, whether that’s being a fullback/halfback, which we wanted to do with Montell Owens last year, before he got injured, a special teams player, or whether it’s a fullback that can play tight end in some situations, or a guy that’s a really bona fide hard-core, like Montell, special teams guy that’s a true fullback.
“Montell is kind of a tweener between a fullback and a halfback. He’s only 220, 225 pounds. But you want that physical fullback who is also a beast on special teams, but he has to bring something else to the table too. I’ve always liked to have a fullback, though, and we’re looking to find a guy that can fit into one of those roles.”