To optimize the speed of running back Jahvid Best, the burner Detroit traded up to draft in April, head coach Jim Schwartz and his staff may decide to use him on kickoffs in addition to various offensive schemes:â†µ
"He's working there, and he did that at Cal," coach Jim Schwartz said. "I think there's a lot of ground to be covered before we actually return a kick this year, but yeah, he'll definitely be in the mix."â†µ
Of course, the biggest concern is that the Lions might be risking Best's health, which has been a problem in the past, by plugging him onto the special teams. Jim Schwartz squashes those worries:â†µ
"It really depends on his offensive role," Schwartz said. "It's really not so much an issue of fear of injury. You can say that about every position on the field, kickers included. There's a chance that you can get hurt on every single play. You can't let that dictate a guy's playing time and everything else."â†µ
"I think the biggest thing is what his role is on offense, who else is returning, and doing what's best for the team in that regard, not worrying about injury."â†µ
We all know how much Jim Schwartz loves Jahvid Best highlights. Best would provide plenty more of those if he ran back kicks, arguably making him the most legitimate home run threat on kickoff returns since Eddie Drummond in 2004. If he is the best option and the Lions really aren't worried about him being an injury liability, then by all means let the kid run 'em back.