Barry Sanders was a thrill to watch during his Hall of Fame career with the Detroit Lions. But here's an interesting question.

Who does Sanders enjoy watching run the football these days?

Turns out he's a big fan of Joique Bell.

"I think we're definitely lucky to have Joique," Sanders told MLive last week in New York. "He has a great style. Physical. And he stays within himself. He's gotten a lot of great yards and really been an asset to the offense.

"He's carved out a niche for himself in this offense with Reggie Bush, and I really do enjoy watching him play. Great story."

Indeed.

Bell had a nomadic first two seasons in the league, switching teams six times before landing with the Lions near the end of 2011. He rushed 82 times for 414 yards in 2012, but last season was his breakthrough.

He rushed 166 times for 650 yards, and also caught 53 passes for 547 yards. His eight touchdowns were second on the team, trailing only Calvin Johnson.

Bell asserted himself as a valuable complement to Bush -- they became the first teammates in NFL history to each rack up 500 yards rushing and 500 receiving -- and his rugged style fit well into Detroit's offense.