Lions looking for “next level” from Jahmyr Gibbs in passing game

Lions General Manager Brad Holmes said recently that the team expects running back Jahmyr Gibbs to carry a heavier load in his second season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a sharp rise in the number of times he runs the ball.

Gibbs caught 52 passes during his rookie season and running backs coach Scottie Montgomery touched on that area of the 2023 first-round pick’s game while discussing what the team is looking for during the 2024 season. Most of Gibbs’ catches came as a safety valve out of the backfield and Montgomery indicated that the team hopes to see a greater variety of contributions this time around.

“Now what we need him to do from a passing game standpoint is go to the next level,” Montgomery said, via 97.1 The Ticket. “I do think there’s a certain difference between being a really efficient check-down versus a great route-runner, a guy that can run all types of choice. We know we’ve seen him do those things. But now can you go into the slot and a little bit more down the field, some intermediate stuff. Can we continue to grow him there, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

The Lions also have David Montgomery back in the backfield and finding more ways to integrate both players into the attack should only help them as they try to repeat as NFC North champs this fall.

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