Birkett: Detroit Lions rookie Jahmyr Gibbs off to slow start. But don't panic ... yet

This is never going to end. I can see the expectation is that unless he is carrying the offense he is failing.


Two things can be true at the same time:
Gibbs will still be explosive and
Gibbs was overdrafted.


what I want to see is swift like explosive plays more consistently than swift did them. He’s already shown he’s more physical. I don’t think we’ve seen his pass catching or explosion potential yet.

He was brought in to be better than swift. You could argue he’s given a more consistent contribution so far, especially when trended out over a season.

Compare that to what swift did last year and is doing for the eagles. If swift gets hurt soon but Gibbs keeps contributing like he is, maybe that wins some hearts in Detroit

We are also an impatient group (as are most fans).

We want every rookie to be LaPorta or Branch, who seem to be total studs in their first 4 games.

But that is not very common. It takes MOST players some time to get adjusted, and it takes coaches some time to figure out how to best utilize them.

We are 3-1. We have good running backs, and a good offense. We don’t need him to be ‘the man’ yet. So maybe give him some time? Like a season, or even… two? I mean, we have seen the great growth from Barnes, and that is after two pretty pedestrian years.

He is fine. It’s not like he forgot how to run fast or catch…


Only problem is, it will not, nor never will, change where he was drafted as well as who wasn’t drafted which I believe is the foundation of the Gibbs criticisms. He may get begrudging respect at some point, but it will, in all likelihood, be followed with a “but at that draft slot” or “he’s good but just think about Carter in the middle”

1 Like

Carter wasn’t taken because he’s a risk. If he flames out in a ~year it will be a bullet dodged. He has a Chase Claypool vibe.

If Carter becomes the next Suh, then yes that may be an insurmountable obstacle to Gibbs ever getting long term respect.

My feeling is that Holmes was greatly impacted by Greg Robinson in 2014. An elite athlete who didn’t have the heart for football. If he sensed that Carter doesn’t have what it takes to be elite, it was a risk not worth taking.

We’ve seen Gibbs has the attitude and mindset to help this team.


Or, potentially “he was drafted exactly where he should have been. He’s a game-changing HB when utilized properly. Thankfully, his career trajectory wasn’t decided after 4 NFL games.”

I don’t disagree.

I do question why Gibbs hasn’t been sent on deep routes with Jamo out, sorta moot now. They made a big deal about him being a weapon and not a RB, per se. Seemed his speed would have been used out wide at least a few times. I may have missed if he’s been sent on those but I don’t recall any.

That said, I do think Holmes and Campbell

a) want him to stay healthy for December and beyond and so aren’t overworking him early

b) expect that he may be the weapon we all envisioned later in the year, and

c) if he blows up in the Lions first playoff game (knock on wood) we all be glad he hadn’t gotten dinged up or hit the rookie wall by then

Bottom line, I think, for the brass is that he’s a difference maker down the stretch and into the playoffs. His going 12OA can be viewed as brilliant if he’s a guy who puts his stamp on games when they really, really matter. I have faith.

They clearly felt they were good in the defensive trenches, and so far are being proven correct despite injuries to Paschal and Houston. Hopefully they have injury luck there going forward.

There’s a 3rd possibility. He’s being kept in reserve while in OJT.
Look at it this way, he’s already out performed Jamo in half the games played.


I think Holmes is a big picture GM.

When putting his puzzle together, he expects all of his pieces to work out as planned. The order they are placed isn’t what is important, it’s does the puzzle look like the picture on the box when all is said and done.


I think this quote from Dan yesterday says it all. He’s talking about Jamo but it makes sense in this context for Gibbs as well:

“For me, it’s dependability. That’s it. Reliability, dependability, go (get) lined up, know where you are supposed to be. We’re going to the the (right route) depth out of you, and we can count on you being where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there, and that’s it.”

“I’m not looking for yards, I’m not looking for explosives, not looking for touchdowns. Man, just be a reliable receiver like any of those guys in the room. That’s it, and to me, that’s a good year. Because we’re about winning. It’s not about one player, an that’ll help us win.”

He’s looking for reliable contributors and Gibbs has been that so far.


They do line up Gibbs all over the field. On our first TD against the Packers the Lions lined up tight formation with an empty backfield with Gibbs as the widest reciever and both TEs on the right side. St Brown was wide and Monty lined up in the slot. It was presented to be a pick play with St Brown running interference on a LB and Monty catching a short pass for YACs.

Goffs route progression here includes St Brown in the flat after he runs interference on the LB for Monty.

This is 3D chess here from mastermind. Last year they ran this formation against GB Johnson saw Rasul try and jump Amons route. So the Pack in their four man front two deep safety look, shifted a CB onto Monty and we waited (hoped) Rasul would try again to get greedy and jump Amons route. Once Goff and Amon saw Douglas commit, Amon spun deep for an uncontested TD

The chess match aspect of what the Lions are doing doesn’t show up on the stat sheet for all the players. But the versatility and football IQ of running back like Monty and Gibbs allows us to run more plays from a single formation and get defenses to bite. Gibbs is only his fourth game in but having a high IQ running back like him, who can line up anywhere and catch like a WR allows our offense to create plays like this and impose our will on defenses

1 Like

While I 100% agree that this is what MCDC cherishes and what he expects and needs out of his players. I would disagree that Gibbs has been this at all. Early season he was not running the holes and he is still not great at it. And he has dropped some balls. Gibbs is an uber talented rookie that may take 4-8-16 games before it all clicks in and he is just playing and no longer thinking on who, what, where, why. That first game I think he got pulled because he was not running the holes like Monty and the end of game it became apparent that Gibbs was not going to be getting those carries until he earned that right. And he has not earned it by his play on the field. And I respect that about MCDC. He seems to live by that credo that the players must earn those reps and snaps.
It has happened for Branch and LaPorta already. It will happen for Gibbs. The question for me is not if it is merely when. I am not sure I am overly concerned if it takes all year. He may need an off season of film study, and play book analysis to have it all make sense. Brad’s offense is not a simple one. Just listening to some of these analysis guys break down the plays and the nuanced things as far as positioning and route paths is proving to me that to play this game right it takes all 53 players dressing that game to make it all work. So many moving parts and it all has to be working in unison to make sense and work properly.
Right now the only route I know Jamo can run properly is the GO. Does he fully grasp the whole route tree and why his route and route path is so crucial? I have no idea right now because he has not played enough to give us any insight.


I see D MO getting a few less carries this week after his work load last week. It will give Jahmyr some reps to show what he has. I think we see why he was drafted this week against the Panthers. Couple big runs and couple pass catches where he gets some nice yards.

WANT LIONS FANS TO GO CRAZY…how about a pass from Gibbs to Jamo for a TD!!!


The Den would explode!

1 Like

Jahmyr has a 4.6 ypc average.
He had 6.0 against the Chiefs, and 5.0 against Atlanta, with 4.7 against Green Bay.
Only 2.7 against the Hags. Not surprising since the whole team played flat.
Oh, and he out performed Robinson, head to head.


Brad holmes when people say he overdrafted Gibbs:

Ha Ha Smile GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

morgan freeman idgaf GIF

Charlie Day Ok GIF


Give gibbs 32 touches per game like montgomery and you are seeing impressive numbers to justify the draft position. Don’t be fooled. Gibbs runs hard. Watch his touches this year. He’s gaining 6 yards and pushing the pile when there’s nothing there. He’s being asked to run off / outside tackle a bit more than montgomery. His time will come and yet he’s being used enough already to make a difference.

Dan could have a number of reasons why he’s limiting the snap count but they’re all valid reasons. Montgomery is a good back for one. So you go with the hot hand. Perhaps he doesn’t want to show all his tricks for more important games later in the season?

Basically. Don’t worry. Be happy :slight_smile:

1 Like