Detroit Lions Training Camp 2011: Analyzing the Growth of No. 1 RB Jahvid Best

Kyle Gibbons@@FI2ANCHISEAnalyst IIIAugust 9, 2011


Game-breaking potential has been the most commonly used term when describing Lions running back Jahvid Best.

It’s also the primary reason in Detroit’s decision to trade back into the first round of the 2010 NFL draft to select former California University standout.

But Jahvid Best is just that, a game breaker.

Best showed a Chris Johnson circa 2008 type impact in first couple games of his rookie season before falling victim to dual turf toe injuries. And like the aforementioned Johnson, Best displays an unparalleled ability to explode into and make people miss at the second level of opposing defenses.

When interviewed in this year’s training camp Best elaborated on 2010’s injuries by saying that,

"I definitely think (it hurt me)," Best said. "There were a lot of cuts where I'm taking four, five steps to change direction."

As far as the lockout shortened training camp and upcoming season is concerned, Best really has only two primary goals when describing what his personal obligations are in 2011,

“Stay healthy, and go out there and play fast.”

In analyzing Jahvid Best in training camp following full rehabilitation from dual toe injuries, it looks as if the quickness and initial burst that he displayed early 2010 has returned.

When referring to how good Best looks in training camp, Detroit Lions right guard Stephen Peterson says,

"He’s going to be an awesome player, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in the Pro Bowl.''

Current Lions starting center Domonic Raiola was quoted in training camp when referring to a healthy Best,

"Best is lightning in a bottle, that’s what I see out of him right now.''

It’s also obvious that Best approached his first NFL offseason with a distinct sense of professionalism and preparedness.

It’s amazing to hear people reference a more explosive looking Jahvid Best when you consider the bulk he added in protecting himself from future injuries.

I believe a lot of the explosiveness Best has shown in training camp can be attributed to a more significant understanding of the Scott Linehan run offense.

And the unfortunate injury to Detroit Lions’ 2011 second-round draft selection Mikel Leshoure only opens the door for a more prominent role for Jahvid Best this season.

If training camp is any indication, Best is poised to absolutely explode in 2011.

Expect the Detroit Lions to make a strong play for the NFC North Division crown.