Lions Enjoy Felton's Running Style

The Detroit Lions coaching staff is enjoying what they see in former fifth-round pick and Furman standout Jerome Felton. And although he wasn't able to showcase his skills during his rookie year last season, expect that to change in 2009.

Jerome Felton was known for his running ability in college, but he didn't get to showcase that ability much during his rookie season a year ago.

But as Detroit's current coaching staff has demonstrated, that doesn't mean those skills will never be utilized.

Felton was impressive with a handful of carries against Cleveland, and the Lions have been pleased with the result.

"The thing with Felton is he didn't have any carries in the first game and we've seen him out here in practice carrying the ball for scrimmage and those things," said offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. "We just needed to see him get both fullback and halfback time and he really did a nice job."

A bruising 6-0, 246-pound athlete, Felton is a north-to-south runner, and might be counted upon to spell starting running back Kevin Smith during the 2009 campaign. He averaged 4.9 yards per carry against Cleveland, carrying the ball seven times for 49 yards. That included a 14-yard scamper.

His exploits should come as no surprise to anyone in the scouting department, however. During his collegiate career, Felton never averaged less than 4.3 yards a carry during the course of a season, compiling 63 rushing touchdowns in four years, including 23 in his sophomore year alone.

Considering his penchant for pass-blocking and more than adequate hands, his talents will be milked by this particular coaching staff.

Linehan liked Felton's mentality against the Browns, and will likely continue to experiment with the former Furman College standout and fifth-rounder against Indianapolis on Saturday.

"I think each carry but one, maybe two, weren't inefficient or over four yards per carry, you like to see that," he said. "It shows that he has the ability to be a downhill runner for us and we can utilize him in a lot of situations where we are looking to get a first down or tough parts of the field where the yards you really have to earn them.

"I was really pleased with his effort in the last game and hopefully we can pick up."


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