Kierrie Johnson turned some heads at practice Wednesday and fortunately for him one of them was Mike Benevides.
It usually isn’t possible but the practice work of a former starter looking to get his job back is making Mike Benevides think.
Benevides wasn’t convinced at the start of the week that Kierrie Johnson would meet both the physical demands of returning to work after his fractured forearm, plus be in enough of a rhythm with quarterback Travis Lulay and the rest of the offence, to force a roster move.
And it still might turn out that Ernest Jackson will keep his roster spot. But Johnson has looked so good the Lions coach said Wednesday he had to give him consideration for Saturday’s game against the Argonauts.
It wasn’t just Johnson’s speed which had the Lions but the fact he also made a reception in traffic while taking contact inside which required contemplation.
In a way, that’s another difference between Benevides and Wally Buono, who wasn’t often convinced otherwise of a decision he had already made. The moves made by the former coach were predetermined and not often swayed by what was taking place on the field.
But this year we’ve seen the arrival of Matt Norman, albeit through necessity, and Jabar Westerman too, and if Johnson gets a uniform it will be just another example of the changing ways around the Lions. The possibility of having a straight-line racehorse like the slender Johnson back might be just the thing returning receiver Geroy Simon needs to get more room open up underneath. On a gorgeous fall practice day, you couldn’t help but conjure up optimistic thoughts.