OT Tomlinson looks back on long road from Jamaica to Lions
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) Ameer Abdullah is ready to help Detroit's backfield. He's just not about to compare himself to the running back he is replacing.
''I think there's only one Reggie Bush,'' Abdullah said. ''Hopefully I'm out to prove that there's only one Ameer Abdullah. Reggie, obviously, in my years of living, watching college football and watching Reggie throughout his career, he's one of the most electrifying guys I've ever seen, so I'm ready to prove myself that I'm doing things my own way.''
The Lions drafted Abdullah in the second round Friday night, adding the Nebraska running back after they cut Bush earlier this offseason. That pick filled a need, and so did their next one when they took Stanford cornerback Alex Carter in the third round.
General manager Martin Mayhew did say the 5-foot-9 Abdullah is somewhat similar to Bush, stylistically.
''They are both guys that can function in space,'' Mayhew said. ''Reggie is probably more developed as a receiver right now, but this guy is just a rookie right now and he will get better in that area. Both of them have similar traits.''
Abdullah rushed for over 1,600 yards in each of his final two seasons with the Cornhuskers. Joique Bell rushed for 860 yards for Detroit last season, and Abdullah gives the Lions another option.
The Lions moved up eight picks in the third round in a trade with Minnesota, then drafted the 6-foot, 202-pound Carter.
''He's a physical guy,'' Detroit coach Jim Caldwell said. ''He's certainly got size to match up with some of the big receivers we'll see in our division. Not only that, he's smart. He is a student of the game, works extremely hard at it and you can see he's got all the makings to be a true pro, so those are the things that jump out at you.''
The Lions can use another good young cornerback after drafting Darius Slay two years ago.
Carter left Stanford after his junior season. His father Tom played at Notre Dame and was a first-round draft pick by Washington in 1993, essentially replacing Mayhew, who had left via free agency to play for Tampa Bay that offseason.
''I have known his dad for about 20 years now,'' Mayhew said. ''The year I left the Redskins is the year he joined the Redskins so we know a lot of the same people.''
Alex Carter, who is from Ashburn, Virginia, even shared an unusual connection he has with the Detroit GM.
''I actually came back, and the pastor that baptized me last summer told me that he also baptized Martin when he was playing for the Redskins,'' he said.
Not only that, Alex Carter also said his roommate this past year was the son of former Lions star Barry Sanders.
Earlier Friday, the Lions formally introduced guard Laken Tomlinson of Duke, taken the night before in the first round. His success is a source of pride for his native Jamaica.
''My dad is still there. He was really excited about everything that happened,'' Tomlinson said. ''I still have extended family there and they were rooting for me. I would say the island is pretty happy right now.''
Tomlinson moved to the U.S. from Jamaica when he was 11, after growing up in a crowded home on the Caribbean island.
''It was a simple life. Back then I didn't have the knowledge I have today but just looking back, we didn't have much at all,'' Tomlinson said. ''It was a tough lifestyle. Just having the opportunity to make that switch - my grandparents moved to the United States before we did and they worked to get their kids, and their kids' kids, to the United States.''
Tomlinson's mother was in attendance at his introductory news conference. He went to Lane Technical High School in Chicago before heading to Duke.
The Lions also introduced offensive lineman Manny Ramirez, whom they acquired in a trade with Denver on Thursday. Ramirez was drafted by the Lions in 2007 and remained with them before being cut in 2010 and catching on with the Broncos.
''When I got released from here it did hurt a lot,'' he said. ''But at the same time I truly believe that it was the best thing that's ever happened to me. It put a lot of things in perspective for me.''
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