Even though the
GM Joe Lombardi called the veteran tandem a "work in progress".
"Joique we love. He's a tough guy. Runs hard. Just keeping him healthy will be key," Lombardi said, per NFL.com. "I'm very excited for Theo (Riddick) and have been since I first got here. I think we're going to see great things from him."
With Reggie Bush banged up for a good portion of the 2014 season, the
Barring any offseason moves, the Lions could once again look to Bell as their feature back in 2015, especially since Bush is no longer on the roster following his release last week.
“I think we worked well together,” Bell told the team's official website of his relationship with Bush. “I think we proved our tandem our first season playing together when we made history. But I’m definitely ready to handle whatever the team needs me to do."
Bell, who has totaled 15 rushing touchdowns the last two seasons, had his best year as a pro in '14 and showed the football world he could handle a job as a feature back in the NFL.
“I think it was more so for the front office and for coaches to see that I could handle that,” he said. “It wasn’t for me as a player. I know what I can and can’t handle as a player. As far as me carrying the load, I know what I can and can’t do.
“I always knew I had the ability. It was just about getting the opportunity. I didn’t know when that opportunity would come. I just had to be patient and wait."
"As a whole, the season was a very successful season as far as the team," Bell said. "As far as my (season), I really need to pick it up a little bit more. I can do better. We didn't win a Super Bowl, so I can do more."
Reggie Bush took a backseat to Bell after experiencing various injuries, and Bell helped the Lions reach 11 wins and a playoff berth. Bell finished the year with a career-best 860 rushing yards, with 547 coming in the final eight games. He is recovering from an undisclosed operation, and is expected to be back for organized team activities in April. However, it remains to be seen if he'll be fully recovered in time for OTAs.
Bell dealt with an assortment of injuries all season. He was listed as probable in Week 17 with an Achilles issue, but also had knee and ankle troubles. He only missed one game (Week 5, Buffalo) due to injury in 2014.
Bell finished the year with a career-best 860 rushing yards, with 547 coming in the final eight games. He racked up 85 yards of total offense in Detroit's wild-card loss to Dallas.
Bell watched Reggie Bush scamper into the end zone from 18 yards out in the first quarter and ceded time to Theo Riddick late in each half, leaving him to just grind out yardage throughout the game. He was the only player on the Lions to catch all of his targets in the loss.
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