When the Lions signed running back Joique Bell late in the 2011 season, he remembers a reporter asking if he thought he could stick with his hometown team.

In the two years since, the Benton Harbor native and former Wayne State star has done nothing but impress, and after 1,197 yards from scrimmage and a team-high eight rushing touchdowns in 2013, Bell will likely have many suitors this offseason.

But the restricted free agent said he wants to stay with the Lions.

“Of course I want to come back,” Bell said last week. “Like I told (the reporter) my first year when I got here, I want to finish my career here, and let’s make it happen. I don’t want to go nowhere.”

Bell and Reggie Bush became the first running back tandem in NFL history to each have 500 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in a season. The duo is a perfect balance of speed (Bush) and power (Bell).

Bell called 2013 “a statement season” for himself, but didn’t take much solace in his individual success.

“Obviously, this is a team sport, so regardless of what I did individually, I didn’t do enough for us to win more games, and that’s why we’re not going to the playoffs,” he said.

Bell’s future won’t be completely up to him. Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan were fired Monday, and their replacements will likely have a say in the free-agent acquisitions this season.

As good as Bell was in 2013, the Lions have enough running backs to move forward without him in 2014. Bush had 1,006 rushing yards this season and is under contract for the next three seasons