Lions’ Bellore catches his moment in the spotlight
Allen Park — The offensive huddle is still foreign territory for Nick Bellore, the Lions linebacker, special teams standout and part-time full back. But he knows the playbook well enough to realize when his number is being called.
On his eighth snap playing fullback this season, the Lions caught the Baltimore Ravens, and just about everyone else watching, by surprise, throwing him a 1-yard touchdown pass.
“Right when I heard it, (quarterback) Matt (Stafford) says it so fast and I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s it,’ ” Bellore said. “There’s no time to think. That’s football in general, but especially then, when I’m in uncharted territory.”
The opportunity arose, in part, because Bellore wasn’t particularly effective on the previous snap, a first-and-goal run from the 1-yard line.
The Lions lined up in an I-formation with Bellore as the lead back, but he didn’t get all of his block and lost his footing, contributing to running back Tion Green being stopped for no gain.
Given that Green scored earlier in the game, Bellore had no issue poking fun at the blunder leading to his touchdown.
“Obviously I didn’t want Tion to score because I wanted it for myself,” he said. “Figured it would be a perfect setup for me to get the pass. That was a conscious decision.”
The Lions lined the backs up in the same formation on second down and Bellore’s responsibility was to get a clean release and not be held up in the backfield. He knew, almost instantly, he would be open. He credited Green’s sell of the run fake and Stafford’s well-placed pass for the play’s successful execution.
As for his celebration, a fake spike, he knows it needs some work.
“I was not prepared,” he said. “And I don’t really have enough time with the offense to do anything choreographed.”