Lions bring back RB Kevin Smith, sign G Leonard Davis

Posted by Tara Altman on November 7, 2011 – 5:03 pm

The Detroit Lions announced today that they’ve re-signed RB Kevin Smith and sign G Leonard Davis.

Smith was originally drafted by the club in the third round (64th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft. During his rookie campaign, Smith was the team leader in rushing attempts (238), rushing yards (976), rushing average (4.2) and rushing touchdowns (eight) and was fourth in the league among rookie rushers in yards, while his eight rushing touchdowns were the third-highest tally by a rookie in Lions history.

For the next two years, Smith’s seasons were cut short due to injuries. In 2010, he was placed on the reserve/injured list November 20 after suffering a thumb injury, and in 2009, after suffering a knee injury at Baltimore (12/13), he was placed on the reserve/injured list December 15.

During his three seasons Smith played in 35 games with 25 starts, carrying the ball 489 times for 1,856 yards (3.8 avg.) and 12 touchdowns. He also had 91 receptions for 824 yards (9.1 avg.) and a touchdown, registering 2,676 total all-purpose yards.

A three-time Pro bowler, Davis was drafted in the first round (second overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. Through 155 games played with 155 starts, Davis brings 10 years of experience at right guard and tackle.

After spending the first six years of his career in Arizona, Davis signed with the Dallas Cowboys March 4, 2007. In 2010, Davis was part of an offensive line that averaged 111.6 rushing yards per game and 256.6 passing yards per game, while the previous season he helped the Cowboys finish second in the NFL in total offense, averaging 399.5 yards per game.

The Lions also announced today that they’ve released RB Eldra Buckley and CB Anthony Madison.

Posted in Blog | 36 Comments »

36 Responses to “Lions bring back RB Kevin Smith, sign G Leonard Davis”

  1. By Ben on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Welcome back Kevin Smith

  2. By IowaLionsFan on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Does this mean Best will not be back for a while?

  3. By Ben on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Kevin Smith? Here we go again!

  4. By Richard Heyman on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    I am happy to see Kevin Smith get a second chance with the Lions. I just hope he takes it to heart and gives it his all on each play. Ever since the Bears stole Forte from us, it has bothered me that Smith didn’t live up to his hype. Maybe Leonard Davis can show some of the Lion’s O-Linemen how to RUN Block, because I have never seen a Lion’s O-Line who could run block like most other teams??? Give Em hell Kevin, second chances Like this are rare!

  5. By Robin on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Glad to see Kevin back

  6. By Andrea L. Molinari on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    This is to Kevin Smith:
    Welcome back Kevin!!! I always loved how you played football. You were always heart and soul. I am so glad to see you back on the roster, especially now that the team is doing so well. You have bled silver and blue in the bad times…now bleed for us in good times!

    Welcome back, Kevin!!

  7. By Ghost of Bobby Layne on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    This is exciting that the team is beefing up the running game. If we can get a good ground attack as well as Matt’s aerial show going in high gear it will be an interesting experience for our opponents.

  8. By marcus on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    The only thing I like about Kevin Smith is he has very good hands. I would like him as a runner but he goes down too easy.

  9. By Mike Cohen on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    I’ve always liked Kevin. I just don’t think he was ever the same after knee surgery. If he gets that out of his mind and gets mentally into the game, he will be a producer. He knows the system. If he’s in shape? Cut him loose. He can take a lot of pressure off of the passing game.

  10. By Dj Hoop on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Welcome back Kev, I hope you do well here again and bring the passion, strong work effort and God given talent back to the D..No more wishing for Miami, except after retirement my brother, we in the D remember here we come..Dj Hoop, the motor-city finest..Welcome to the d, Leonard Davis..Would love to Antwon Randle El as well.

  11. By Dj Hoop on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Hey front office make sure we re-sign Stephen Tulloch, Eric Wright, Cliff Avril, and Willie Young..Thanks alot Nate Burleson for restructuring your contract with the capologist Tom Lewand and our Lions..Thanks for spending the money Mr W.C. Ford..Our fans are the greatest..Noise makers!!..Dj Hoop

  12. By Dj Hoop on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Martin Mayhew for executive of the Year!!!

  13. By Bobby13 on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    I love the way this teams leadership is proactive by picking up these two available players. Yes welcome back KS. You now will know how it feels to come on to Ford Field with the Roar Restored. Mr. Davis I really feel you have a lot to give to our team. Great to have you in the Honolulu Blue & Silver. Now almost time to watch shecago get spanked.

  14. By LIONNUTS on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Well…it’s a good thing I held on to Kevin’s Rookie Card. WELCOME BACK! I hope he can stay healthy and contribute. As far as Leonard…WELCOME. To be honest I don’t know much about Davis. Run blocking is something we need. I wonder if he is any good at pass protection. That would be a bonus. The Lions will need a running game down the stretch. Our remaining 8 looks tough on paper…but this year my thought is “any givien Sunday”. There are no teams out there that are “unbeatable”. RUN LIKE THE WIND KEVIN! GO LIONS!

  15. By RPGnURgrill on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    What are you talking about Chicago stole Matt Forte from us???HE has played with Chicago his entire career.

  16. By Dan on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Great win against Denver Butt help me to understand on third and 12 in the 4th quarter Hill passes the ball for 5 yards fully coverd im still fumming over this… why not go for the guts and pass the ball down field
    for a first down..or when you are 4th and 3 have Hansen pass the ball
    for a first, be a little freaky have a little fun and give us some entertainment….you have the talent now use them . Dan

  17. By brandon on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    i love the addition of smith, they need a good back and welcome. As for davis also welcome. if we can get the running game going with the stafford johnson show, 10 wins and a playoff berth looks great as of now:) GO LIONS

  18. By Josh on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    Glad to see K. Smith back cause he fought a winless battle for us lions fans. He never had a chance with the management and coaching he had. With that being said…. there is nothing wrong with Morris. That guy is a beast! He won’t bust the huge run but he is solid and can catch out of the backfield. I just wish we would give him 25 carries in a game and see what he can do. Go Lions!!!!

  19. By Rod on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    It is good to have you back Kevin. Loved watching you run in the past and could tell that all you needed to do was get healthy to put up even better numbers then the great rookie year. I can’t wait to see what you add to the offence.

  20. By Lance Manly on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    Great Job!

    Fantastic. Instant Run Game Improvement. Kevin Smith knows the plays and 3 x Pro Bowl G Leonard Davis is a big improvement even at his age.

    Also, the two cut; didn’t even know they were on the team (I did, but they haven’t contributed to this point. Good moves Mayhew!)

    Sorry about Best, this means Best probably has more issues than I was hoping for. Get well soon Best; but Smith and Maurice; plus Williams, got your back till your healthy again.

    Psst… run behind the big man; Davis!

  21. By Mestal on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    Thats how Lions are doing now. Hopefully this moves will make the team even better. This couple of moves were necesaries and now, Mat will be more protected and runing game will show up better. Smart moves! Go Lions!

  22. By Big Chris on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    Yeah! I’m happy Kevin Smith got re-signed.. He has achieved a lot, and is a big part of the Lions Pride. GO LIONS!

  23. By eric on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    Hmmm The shrewed Mayhew is at it again..I think that kevin smith is a dog ass running back..he just needs sum damn blocking..and hes a playmaker that can catch the ball..why didnt yall bring him back sooner..Any time u can get an Olineman former #2 draft pick thats a good move..cause we need the help..we gettin ready for that 2nd half push..bears are comin on..but we owe them for that bs last year..Titus Young and Burleson break out in a big way in this one..go Lions…

  24. By paynskii on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    Welcome back Kevin!!!! I know you will do great.

  25. By Shane on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    Good move at the right time. SO much for smith but that Pearman has to go.

  26. By sachin puri on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    Why have we not thought of signing Tiki Barber. He has come out of retirement and I think we can get him for a cheaper price and he can make a good third down back.

  27. By Dale Waterman on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply


  28. By BOWHUNTER54 on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    Welcome back KS!!! I was not overly impressed with him as far as a bulldozing back, but he is quick with great hands, that should help…I’m afraid that the Lions may be looking hard at whether they should play Best anymore this year….Concussions aren’t anything to mess with…Then with Williams, Morris, and now Smith, should really help the running game and make things a bit dangerous for a Defense that has to keep an eye on Smith, because of his catching and running talent…He rushed for almost 1,000 yards for the Lions, his first year…Davis is a beast!!! At 6′ 6″, and 355 lbs., that is a load to move out of the way…He played a major role in the Cowboys having one of their best offenses in the run and pass…He most definitely will help protect Stafford too….Kick the Bear’s A_ _! Go Lions!!!

  29. By Eddie Hiller on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    I think bringing back kevin Smith and signing guard and tackle Davis is a good fit for us. I think they both will start right away. Kevin Smith should know the offense he was in this offense last year so learning it should be a breeze.However is what is a concern would be what type of game shape are Davis and Smith in and are they ready.

  30. By scott on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    wait ago Mayhew!! Good choice 2 areas that we needed help. Keven can open up things. And our offsensive line need help

  31. By AllThingsDetroit on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    We have some local haters on the acquisition of Kevin Smith…but I think It’s a good, wise and prudent move (not to mention proactive) on the part of Mayhew & Lewand! to the Welcome Back KS…and Welcome to the “D” to Mr. Davis! It’s time….so let’s get it! Mission Indianapolis (Super Bowl) is under way! Got to think BIG….. Go Lions!!!! :D

  32. By Darrell M Paczas on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    And by the way put Bobby “THE HAMMER” Carpenter on First Team he’s Proved HIMSELF !!!! The Guy has positive Energy and the D-FENCE needs a Leader out their ; put him on first String ohh man would you see a change PEOPLE.

  33. By JOHNNY UNITAS on Nov 9, 2011 | Reply


  34. By lionman on Nov 9, 2011 | Reply

    Now, Kevin glad your back,now show what I no you got this time.

  35. By Detroit Lions #1 on May 3, 2012 | Reply

    I was really excited to see Leonard Davis brought in and the guy never even played. Will he get a shot at guard this year? Peterman is slumping.

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