Lions OC Hints at Unique Role for RB Jahmyr Gibbs

Draft surprises unfold as Detroit revamps its backfield.

by Nouman Rasool
Lions OC Hints at Unique Role for RB Jahmyr Gibbs
© Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions offensive game is poised for a fresh facelift with rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs stepping onto the field. This talented player from Alabama had already stirred up significant excitement with his prospective contributions to the Lions' game.

But it seems the waters run deeper, as hinted by offensive coordinator Ben Johnson on Saturday. "Expect the unexpected with Gibbs," Johnson intriguingly noted in a recent news conference, as cited by the team's correspondent, Tim Twentyman.

Lions' Bold Draft Decision

The Lions’ strategic move in the April draft made headlines when they secured Gibbs as the No. 12 overall pick. Renowned for his agility, Gibbs is anticipated to be a contrasting, electrifying complement to David Montgomery's power-packed approach in Detroit's newly overhauled backfield.

While Montgomery is expected to fill the void left by Jamaal Williams, churning out impactful runs and delivering punishing hits, many envision Gibbs as the primary receiver coming out from the backfield. And there's evidence to back this up: Gibbs had a remarkable stint at Alabama in his final collegiate year, racking up 44 catches that totalled 444 yards with three touchdowns.

Even in the NFL preseason, albeit in restricted gameplay, he showcased his prowess with six runs, accumulating 19 yards and a stellar 18-yard catch. Yet, Johnson's cryptic remark has fueled speculation about Gibbs' role. Could he be more prominently featured as a slot player? Or has Johnson crafted a special play package tailored for Gibbs? Perhaps Johnson's words were merely a clever ruse, throwing off their NFL Kickoff Game adversaries, the Chiefs.

Given Johnson’s successful track record, leading the Lions to clinch the fifth spot in the NFL's scoring offense the previous year, his intention to maximize Gibbs' potential can hardly be doubted. Last year, even with their impressive 11th rank in ground yardage, the Lions saw room for enhancement and restructured their rushing offensive.

Gibbs stands at the core of this new strategy. The much-anticipated game on September 7 in Kansas City might unveil Gibbs as Detroit's secret weapon, a versatile force ready to redefine the game.