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Orlovsky: Riddick 'too good to not put on the field'

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Dan Orlovsky still sees greatness ahead for Lions running back Theo Riddick.

The backup quarterback told reporters Tuesday that "Theo's too good to not put on the field," even after the team drafted second-rounder Ameer Abdullah to pair with Joique Bell in Detroit's backfield.

"Theo has stuff that you can't coach, that you can't teach, that you're born from God with," Orlovsky said, per the Detroit Free Press. "He just has an ability to get open better than everyone else."

Orlovsky went to bat for Riddick last season, too, promising that the change-of-pace runner would churn out a breakout campaign. That never happened, with Riddick amassing just 51 yards at 2.6 yards per carry. Where he excelled, though, was the passing game, hauling in 34 balls for 316 yards. Despite his limited role, Riddick flashed the brand of natural gifts in space that make Orlovsky's praise credible.

He might not see carries, but Riddick looms as a candidate to contribute in the slot, with Orlovsky hinting that the third-year back "will probably have, like, 60 catches."

It's worth noting that coach Jim Caldwell also told reporters at the NFL Annual Meeting that Riddick is "going to be one of those guys who's going to force us to give him the ball more," but that was before the drafting of Abdullah.

He's an intriguing young player, but the challenge for Riddick is convincing coordinator Joe Lombardi of what Orlovsky sees. 

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses Geno Smith and the Jets' QB position and much, much more with special co-host Colleen Wolfe. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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