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Sport How Detroit Lions' Bo Scarbrough went from NFL scrap heap to starter: 'Just be Bo'

04:20  06 december  2019
04:20  06 december  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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Just be Bo . That’s the message the Detroit Lions ’ coaching staff has sent to running back Bo Scarbrough as part of the process that has made Running backs coach Kyle Caskey, a veteran NFL assistant who played fullback at Texas A&M, used the internet to refresh his memory of what he first

The Detroit Lions just added Bo Scarbrough to their roster, and the running back wasted little time making his presence felt to the team on the field. After an Ezekiel Elliott fumble, the Lions offense got the ball and promptly jammed it down the Dallas Cowboys‘ throats. The one doing the jamming was

There’s a misconception in the NFL that good running backs can be found anywhere. Of the league’s top-12 rushers, two — Chris Carson and Marlon Mack — were drafted after the second round.

a man wearing a helmet: Detroit Lions RB Bo Scarbrough joined a club with Barry Sanders and Billy Sims© Provided by Gannett Co., Inc. Detroit Lions RB Bo Scarbrough joined a club with Barry Sanders and Billy Sims

But at the risk of jumping to a far-too-early conclusion in another lost season, the Detroit Lions might have unearthed themselves a rare gem in Bo Scarbrough.

Three games into his Lions career, Scarbrough looks like the type of hard-charging, move-the-chains back coach Matt Patricia covets for his offense.

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Getty Bo Scarbrough celebrates after a run. The Detroit Lions have a running back in Bo Scarbrough that isn’t afraid to take a pounding or After his solid debut with the Lions last weekend, a closer look at some of Scarbrough ’s numbers were presented by Pro Football Focus, and perhaps

Detroit Lions running back Bo Scarbrough carries the football during an NFL game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Nov. “Look at the score: We lost,” Scarbrough told reporters gathered around his locker after the game, “so the touchdown really don’t mean nothing to me.

Signed off the free-agent scrap heap on Nov. 6 and promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster 10 days later, Scarbrough has rushed for 236 yards in his first 53 career carries, and shown a unique ability to get yards after contact.

“If you look at the three games that he’s played in, there’s consistency with what he’s doing,” Lions running backs coach Kyle Caskey said. “It’s not like there’s some big runs in there and that’s where the yardage has come from. Everything has been a consistent style of running with him. And then really with what he’s doing with the protections and everything that we’re asking him to do, there’s a lot of things that he’s progressed upon in the last two weeks so that we can get him involved in those things, too.”

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Detroit Lions running back Bo Scarbrough tears through Washington Redskins' defense with 30-yard dash. Detriot Lions running back Bo Scarbrough makes early diving effort for touchdown rush.

In three games with Detroit , Bo Scarbrough has 236 rushing yards on 53 carries and a touchdown. Scarbrough is all Crimson Tide, but his name and running style harken back to an Auburn legend “Sometimes it’s just as simple as saying, ‘Hey, Bo . Just run, just be Bo .’ “I think right now, he just

Scarbrough isn’t a pop-up prospect.

He was a known commodity after playing three seasons at Alabama, where his college career was good enough to make him a seventh-round pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2018 — his injury history, including a torn anterior cruciate ligament in 2015 and broken leg the following season, contributed to his low draft stock.

Released by the Cowboys at the end of training camp that summer, Scarbrough spent the next five months bouncing between teams. His recent emergence, Caskey said, has been about trust and opportunity more than anything.

In Dallas, Scarbrough had little path to playing time behind Ezekiel Elliott, and was deemed expendable when he lost the backup job to Rod Smith.

a group of football players on a field: Washington strong safety Landon Collins loses his helmet while tackling Lions running back Bo Scarbrough during the second half on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, in Landover, Md.© Alex Brandon, AP Washington strong safety Landon Collins loses his helmet while tackling Lions running back Bo Scarbrough during the second half on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, in Landover, Md.

He spent a few weeks on the Cowboys practice squad, then joined the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad for a few months, where he again was stuck behind a first-round running back, Leonard Fournette.

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Detroit Lions , 2018 NFL Draft Prospect RB Bo Scarbrough , 2018 NFL Draft.

RB Bo Scarbrough , Detroit Lions . The Lions may have found a successor to the injured Kerryon Johnson as their workhorse back. Scarbrough , who joined the Lions earlier in the month and was just promoted from the practice squad a day before Sunday's game, led the team with 55 rushing yards

The Seattle Seahawks signed Scarbrough off the Jaguars practice squad late last season, and kept him around through training camp this summer. But Scarbrough, who has little special-teams value, was a camp casualty playing behind Carson and another first-round pick, Rashaad Penny.

With Kerryon Johnson injured – Johnson returned to practice Wednesday and could play in the final two games of the season – Scarbrough has found no impediment in Detroit.

He started and got a team-high 14 carries in his first NFL game, and has seen his workload increase in the two weeks since.

“Sometimes it’s just the situation,” Caskey said. “He gets drafted into the same team as Ezekiel Elliott, so you never know. There’s situations within the different teams that come up and maybe he just didn’t fit with the rotation they had. And then you come off the street again, I think at the end of the year last year he ended up, and I know he was in Seattle for the offseason, so it just depends on the situation.”

Beyond opportunity, Scarbrough has thrived in Detroit by embracing the physical style that made him an integral part of a national champion and national runner-up at Alabama.

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Lions ' Bo Scarbrough : Barrels through Washington defense. Scarbrough signed with the Lions ' practice squad Wednesday. The Lions have two running Seattle has been exceptional on the ground this season, but Scarbrough doesn't figure to see much run with starter Chris Carson at full strength.

Bo Scarbrough was grinding away on the practice squad in Detroit this time last week. Now the running back is getting congratulatory calls from the Detroit Lions running back Bo Scarbrough (43) is tackled by Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Maliek Collins (96) in the third quarter of their NFL

Caskey said one of the first things he did when the Lions signed Scarbrough was look up the running back’s highlights on YouTube.

At the risk of conjuring up Jim Schwartz-Jahvid Best memories – as Lions coach, Schwartz said he got aroused watching Best highlights on YouTube before the 2010 draft – Caskey said his time on the video-sharing platform was done to get a better sense of what made Scarbrough successful.

“I just needed to remind myself of what he was,” Caskey said.

Armed with that knowledge, Caskey gave Scarbrough a simple directive once he got on the field: “Just be Bo.”

“Sometimes it’s just as simple as saying, ‘Hey, Bo, just run,” Caskey said. “He is a different build than a normal running back. He is tall, he’s long. Those kind of running backs don’t exist much in the NFL. But just saying, ‘Yeah, you do need to get lower. You do need to lower your pad level on certain things. But, hey, listen, just be Bo. Just go run.’ And I think right now I think he needed to hear that."

There are other reasons Scarbrough has excelled in Detroit.

He has spent most of his waking hours learning the Lions offense, even pulling Caskey aside for personal walk-throughs the morning of games. And the Lions’ offensive line genuinely seems to enjoy blocking for his style of play.

Put together, that's why the Lions believe Scarbrough may be more than just a late-season wonder.

“There’s still some things he’s leaving out on the field, but he knows that and we’ll get that corrected,” Caskey said. “You’re three games into a season when he’s only been on the team for four weeks. It’s a work in progress, but he’s been fun to work with.”

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: How Detroit Lions' Bo Scarbrough went from NFL scrap heap to starter: 'Just be Bo'

Matt Patricia, Bob Quinn to return to Detroit Lions in 2020 .
There will be no regime change this offseason.“We expect to be a playoff contender,” team owner Martha Ford said, according to The Detroit Athletic. “And those are our expectations, which we’ve expressed to both Bob and to Matt.

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