ALLEN PARK -- The Lions' running game is certain to come under close scrutiny when the team opens training camp in late July. They ranked 26th in the NFL last season with Kevin Jones, Shawn Bryson and Artose Pinner sharing the workload in a drab, ineffective West Coast offense.
Although coach Rod Marinelli isn't bestowing any starting jobs, it is expected that Jones, a former first-round pick, could benefit greatly from offensive coordinator Mike Martz's insistence on a strong running game.
"It's like I've always said since I've been here, we've got to ride (Jones') coattails," said wide receiver Roy Williams. "We've got to be able to run the football in this league. If we can't do that, we'll be at the bottom of the barrel like we have been the last three years.
"We've got to be able to run the football (and) he's the man to do it. Calhoun can come in and get his little shake on in there and our running game will be at the top of the league."
Marinelli isn't promising the top running game in the NFL but he says he likes what he has seen from Jones in the off-season workouts, especially in becoming a more complete back, capable of catching the ball out of the backfield.
"He's catching the ball well, better," Marinelli said. "And he's worked hard at it. He's caught a million balls. I think he's really done a nice job."