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Golden Nuggets: Learning the Ropes

In preparation for a significant role on offense, Best is having the entire Detroit Lions offense thrown at him.

While Best is expected to be the feature back, he understands it's more than a one-man show. To start the season, he likely will share carries with Maurice Morris. When Kevin Smith returns 100 percent from a knee injury, he's expected to split time with Best. In both cases, Best likely will get the bulk of the workload.
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Right now, though, the only job Best has is to memorize his entire playbook. All the rookies can return for offseason workouts May 17, and Lions coach Jim Schwartz does not want to waste a minute waiting for a rookie to catch up.

"We're throwing everything we have at him. We didn't spoon-feed it," Schwartz said. "He's a guy that when he does come back, he has to assimilate right away into the offense. We can't slow the offense down for where he is. We moved him around a lot and exposed him to a lot of things. I thought he did a really good job of handling it."

Best constantly was coached on the field, not just during the plays he ran, but offensive coordinator Scott Linehan counseled him from time to time when Best did not get his repetitions.

"He just keeps throwing offense at me," Best said. "I've got to look in my playbook every day. I'm definitely going to spend a lot of time going over the plays, so when I get back I can pick it up quick."

Best said Detroit's playbook is about the same thickness as the one he had at the University of California, but at Cal, "the running back portion is a little bit slim," he said.

"I didn't need to know everything. At this level, you need to know everything, you have to know what the receivers are doing, you need to know everything about the linemen and what the quarterback's thinking. So I've got to learn the whole thing."

After the jump Tyson Alualu talks to the media, Ted Miller posts another set of preseason power rankings, basketball recruits play in a national all-star game, and more.

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