Column: Mooch needs to hand the ball to Jone

With a knack for the big play in college, and drafted for those purposes, Lions' rookie running back Kevin Jones should be given more carries, writes columnist Adrian Donofrio.

If you had been told that after Kevin Jones was drafted by the Detroit Lions with the 30th pick in the first round that he'd get 33 carries, you'd probably think that was to be his first game total.

It wasn't.

Thirty-three. That's how many carries the former Virginia Tech standout has had all year. Granted, he has been hampered by an ankle injury, but it hasn't debilitated him, as he had a six-yard carry in last week's debacle versus the Green Bay Packers.

What did Steve Mariucci do after Kevin opened up the game with that?

He benched him for the rest of the game in favor of Artose Pinner, who ran six times for a paltry 7 yards.

Jones is the fast, big play back that Detroit was desperate for heading into this season. Detroit lacked the big yardage plays, the type of plays that broke the defense's back, the ones that eventually lead to plays of the same nature. You know, the ones that Detroit's defense has to face every week.

Kevin Jones was supposed to be that player, but can't do what he does best without ample opportunity. Jones needs carries not only to get more comfortable within himself and within the offense, but to work and massage the defense into the big plays he was known for in college. He needs to get the 15-20 carries most backs get in order to get the chances he needs to bust the big one. He hasn't even seen his first touchdown.

And even past rushing the ball, QB Joey Harrington is averaging a putrid 5 yards per completion. Jones has worked well in the passing game, and would help Joey immensley, as Harrington frequently uses the running back as a security blanket in checkdowns.

Jones will practice this week. Mariucci is doing what he normally does, and is letting the veteran play ahead of the rookies, but Artose Pinner has been ineffective. He needs to swallow his pride, and let Kevin have an entire game to himself. Let the playmaker prove himself, instead of looking over his shoulder. Maybe instead of taking breathers every few plays, he'd be taking breathers after long ones.

Adrian Donofrio is a columnist for, and you can contact him

Lions Report Top Stories