The high-powered Detroit Lions continue to lack power in a key area, and they might be getting desperate.
But are they desperate enough to try Tiki?
With Jahvid Best out indefinitely, Ronnie Brown back in Philadelphia and Jerome Harrison dealing with much more important problems, ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio suggests that Detroit might become the first team to seriously consider Tiki freakin’ Barber.
Why not give Tiki Barber a try?
Humbled (and flabbergasted) by the lack of interest in his services, he could be the difference maker that the team needs. And if he creates any trouble, the Lions would just cut him.
The Lions have two healthy running backs: Keiland Williams, who has 49 yards on 19 carries this season, and Maurice Morris, who has 20 on nine. The team worked out four backs on Tuesday, signing journeyman James Davis to the practice squad.
Florio’s right. It couldn’t hurt to gamble on a veteran like Barber, who might be motivated to bring a unique and positive presence to a young Detroit locker room. The Lions’ running game has been nonexistent outside of one game this season. Take away Best’s shocking performance two weeks ago against Chicago (he had an 88-yard run and accumulated 167 yards on just 12 carries against a pathetic Bears defense) and the Lions would be averaging exactly 3.0 yards per carry, which would be the lowest number in the league.
With Best likely to sit at least a week with a concussion and not consistently performing like a top back when healthy anyway, it’s probably time for Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz to consider a change that could have a major impact on the offense.
But Barber is 36, and there are probably more reliable immediate options available. Detroit could reach out to a guy like Laurence Maroney, who’s a lot fresher and 10 years younger, or they could hitch the wagon to Morris, who showed glimpses of success as the team’s starter during the final six games of 2010.
Whatever they do, they’d better figure it out fast. Because while you don’t need to be a good running team to win in this league, you have to be able to keep defenses honest. And Detroit will have trouble with teams like Atlanta, Green Bay, New Orleans, Oakland and San Diego down the stretch without seeing some semblance of improvement out of the backfield.