"I’m telling you, if he doesn’t 50 catches this year, I’ll be surprised because he’s going to have opportunities and he’s very talented at it," Orlovsky said on the Ross Tucker Podcast. "I think he’s going to play that Sproles role, for sure."
Orlovsky was struck by what he saw from Riddick in OTAs and minicamp.
"I mean this kid, he wasn’t covered a single time in OTAs and minicamp. He was not covered," Orlovsky said. "And I think it’s even going to be easier when he gets pads on because once linebackers just try to start colliding him, and that’s what teams started to do with Sproles sometimes, you hit the home run one out of every 10 plays. And then nine out of 10 times, Sproles wins. And I think Theo’s going to do that for us."
Riddick got 13 touches in 14 games as a rookie last year.
It's paid off as Riddick has replaced Joique Bell (knee) in practice this spring.
"He's certainly done well. He's had a very good spring," Caldwell said of Riddick per the Detroit Free Press. "Matter of fact, even in my preliminary evaluation, just watching him in special teams last year, he jumps out at you. He's eager, he's hungry, he's tough, he can run. He's a very, very fine route runner. He can catch the ball. He's had a real fine spring, so I hope he continues to develop, and we think he will."
The report says "Riddick continues to be impressive. He seems a little faster than last season and might have improved more than anyone else on the roster from last season." Riddick did little as a rookie in 2013 with nine carries for 25 yards and a touchdown and four catches for 26 yards.
The report adds Riddick is putting himself in position to have "a real role" in this offense this season after being primarily a backup in 2013. Reggie Bush and Joique Bell are ahead of Riddick on the depth chart.
Riddick only had two carries in the game, one of them was a 2-yard sprint for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. He finished with eight yards in a 23-20 defeat.
The Lions, already eliminated from the playoffs, will end the season at Minnesota in Week 17.
They'll all face the Giants in Week 16.
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