Zach Zenner vs Stevan Ridley, Who is the Power Back?

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Detroit has six running backs on its roster right now. While Riddick and Abdullah have a position on the team locked up, these two players will be competing for the power back position on the roster. Nobody else on the team can fill this role besides Zach Zenner and Stevan Ridley. Now, Detroit could easily keep both players since both are good players and letting good players go isn’t something we can afford to do right now. They could also decide to keep one and let the other walk or be on the practice squad. I personally hope both players stay on the team, but who knows what good ole Bob Quinn has up his sleeve. Let’s compare the two power back players while we are at it.

Power Back Option 1: Zach Zenner

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Zach Zenner impressed many during his preseason last year, (just talk to Case about him) and he earned a spot as the number four back on the roster. He only played in six games last year due to an injury, but he had 17 carries for 60 yards and two catches for 11 yards. While these numbers are obviously low, it doesn’t mean Zenner can’t produce. He is six feet tall, weighing 230 pounds and he is fast for a power back. He has power to knock players down and the speed to outrun them. He can catch balls too, he isn’t just a strict power back. Zenner could be a great third down back to just plow through the opposing defensive line.

Power back option 2: Stevan Ridley

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Stevan Ridley is the leading candidate for this position. He has more experience than Zenner and has produced more than him. He is looking to rebound after coming off a down year, only playing in nine games, getting 36 carries for 90 yards. Last year was his first action since his ACL and MCL injuries in New England. New England is where he shone, having his best years in 2012 and 2013 before missing the final 10 regular season games and the playoffs in 2014. His performance coming back from injury is something Zenner has to capitalize on if he wants to win the job.

Prediction: Stevan Ridley

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Ridley will win this battle, but it won’t be easy. He’ll prove to the coaches that the injury is long past him and he can go back to what he once was in New England. Ridley won’t be getting another 1,000 yard season, but he can be the power back of this team, coming in on short yardage situations and gaining the few yards the team needs. This team seems like it will rely on Riddick and Abdullah mostly for its running plays, but when it comes to power plays, Ridley will be the guy to go with. His blocking skills are alright, but Detroit could always use Burton or Zenner for those if needed.

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About the Author

Brandon Knapp
Brandon Knapp is a senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Journalism, minoring in Sports Management. He was born and raised in the city of Marysville, MI. He also writes for and covers the Michigan Wolverines Football team (his other love). Brandon also enjoys watching the Detroit Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers.