"I think Mikel has a chance to be a big part of what we do," running backs coach Curtis Modkins said. "As a matter of fact, I'm anticipating him being a big part of what we do and a big role in our success."
While it would seem tough for Leshoure to get consistent work this year, the new offensive system in Detroit could help. Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi developed his scheme while in New Orleans the past seven years, and New Orleans is known for using a fleet of tailbacks.
Four had at least 53 carries last year, compared to just two for Detroit. Given that context, Modkins' prediction doesn't seem so far-fetched.
Still, since he is behind Bush, Bell and Riddick, don't count on Leshoure to do much in 2014.
"We weren’t out there a lot last year, so to get our opportunities, whether it’s OTAs or minicamp, training camp or whatever it is, you have to take advantage of it."
Leshoure, who's entering the final year of his rookie contract, is optimistic he'll find a role in the new offense since coordinator Joe Lombardi has a history of rotating running backs with different strengths.
"He did have a personal issue, let's put it that way," coach Jim Caldwell said. "We knew he was gone and what was happening. We were well aware of it."
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