In an interview following afternoon practice on Monday, August 2, 2010, with Terry Foster and Darren McCarty on The Ticket 97.1 FM, Foster asked Detroit Lions rookie running back Jahvid Best his take on the upcoming season.
Without hesitation, Jahvid Best offered a poignant response, “The sky is the limit!”
What a wonderful voice.
Great tone, nice pitch, smooth meter, and excellent delivery.
The warmth and glow in Jahvid Best’s voice was remarkable and endearing, drawing me in to cling to each word.
And man did it sound great.
When asked about his transition from collegiate to professional football, Best shared, “It’s about getting comfortable.”
Jahvid said that when he was learning the playbook initially, he was having to “think too much” and not “just play.” Best said that as he gained comfort with the playbook, he was able to “quit thinking too much” and just play the game.
After today’s practice, it sure sounded like he’s found a comfort level with his learning, and that learning is translating to confidence in his running.
Jahvid was quick to point out that, “This isn’t college where you can just run away from people.” He went on to say, “Guys are taking great angles; everybody is fast here.” Most importantly, he followed that up by saying, “You have to pay attention to detail.”
If you wish to be a champion in any endeavor, you must pay attention to detail, and Jahvid Best is ready to put his “attention” to the test.
While it sounds like the Lions' rookie running back is gaining confidence, he isn’t taking it for granted. He seems to know what’s up. That awareness will only serve him well in the days, weeks, and months that lie ahead.
Jahvid proclaimed, as a true team player, that whatever role the organization has for him, his is ready to play.
When asked about the losing over the past two seasons (Lions fans know it has been much, much longer than that, so no need to add insult to injury), Jahvid said, “When I first got here, I didn’t notice it.”
Best said that he had been on high school teams that hadn’t won, and he knew that feeling, and that feeling was not present in the Detroit Lions locker room.
“Guys look like they’ve got the Super Bowl in their eyes,” said the beaming Best. "Everybody is excited and ready to go.”
The more I listened to this beautiful soul, the more I got excited, and the more I wanted to believe that 2010 will indeed be a breakout season for the Detroit Lions and the pride faithful.
As Jahvid Best left, I was ready for more.
Ready to see him run.
Ready to see him cut.
Ready to see him turn on the afterburners and blaze a trail into the end zone.
It was also reported out of the morning practice that Best was outrunning the secondary as a receiving threat out of the backfield.
I like that too.
Late this afternoon, when asked about the potential of rookie running back out of California, WR Calvin Johnson shared, "A lot of times, they are going to have to bring eight in the box and leave someone one-on-one in the secondary. It's going to be big. Best is real fast."
Dominic Raiola also made his way to Foster and McCarty, and when asked his thoughts about the 2010 Detroit Lions’ offense, his summation was, “Explosive.”
Raiola said, “Our offense is pretty damn good I think.”
The more you hear it, the more you want to believe it.
To be expected, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz was far more reserved in his assessment of the team saying, “I need to temper what you see out here.”
“You need to be consistent,” Schwartz said. He stressed that the team needed to be consistent everyday, day-by-day, one-day-at-a-time, maintaining focus, and staying healthy.
I know that coach Schwartz is excited about his team’s offense as well; he just doesn’t want to go overboard about it, creating a false sense of something which has yet to materialize upon the field of play.
And rightly so.
Schwartz mentioned that Stafford is, “Developing rapport that was sorely missed last year. It’s nice to have some ‘friends’—you know, guys who can make some plays.”
I’m sure Jahvid Best fits squarely into that plan, and it gives the team no strategic advantage to reveal what Best’s ultimate role will be during the 2010 campaign.
I hope it all begins with a “shock and awe” in Chicago, with the Lions pasting a good one on the home-team Bears.
A confident, healthy, and upbeat Jahvid Best could prove to be exactly what the Detroit Lions running game needs to get off the ground in 2010.
Load the jet fuel, gentlemen; we’re ready for takeoff!