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 Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all 
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
Interesting development: GB is moving Bulaga, Reiff's predecessor at Iowa, to LT. Wonder who will turn out better?

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May 3rd, 2013, 9:08 am
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
thelomasbrowns wrote:
Interesting development: GB is moving Bulaga, Reiff's predecessor at Iowa, to LT. Wonder who will turn out better?


They are incredibly similar, almost the exact same height speed and weight. Same arm length and even drafted in the same spot. If I were picking a favorite to be considered the better player I would give it to Bulaga because he plays with the better QB. A great QB can often make a LT look better with a quick release and good pocket awareness.


May 3rd, 2013, 9:59 am
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
wjb21ndtown wrote:
DJ-B wrote:
kdsberman wrote:
BillySims wrote:
Reiff has 1 season to prove he can be a good LT. If he fails to do so, we go into next off season knowing our #1 need is LT.


Yup i agree.


Exactly. And its not like he'd bust out, he would just be relegated to RT or OG.


Taking an above average OG at #16 overall (or whatever it was), IMO, is a bust. I don't think he would be a dominate OG, and from what I've seen of him so far, he's no OT. IMO he was a bad pick, but time will tell.


That's semantics. Drafted to High != bust in my book. Ryan leaf was a bust. Jamarcus Russell was a Bust. Titus Young was a Bust. Drafting a LT at #23 who ends up at RT or even OG and still is Average+ and has a multi year career is just taking a pick too high and it happens. That said, I hope he proves he can be LT, but if he fails im with the others who think hell end up a solid RT for us since we have Guards.


May 3rd, 2013, 11:46 am
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
DJ-B wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
DJ-B wrote:
kdsberman wrote:
BillySims wrote:
Reiff has 1 season to prove he can be a good LT. If he fails to do so, we go into next off season knowing our #1 need is LT.


Yup i agree.


Exactly. And its not like he'd bust out, he would just be relegated to RT or OG.


Taking an above average OG at #16 overall (or whatever it was), IMO, is a bust. I don't think he would be a dominate OG, and from what I've seen of him so far, he's no OT. IMO he was a bad pick, but time will tell.


That's semantics. Drafted to High != bust in my book. Ryan leaf was a bust. Jamarcus Russell was a Bust. Titus Young was a Bust. Drafting a LT at #23 who ends up at RT or even OG and still is Average+ and has a multi year career is just taking a pick too high and it happens. That said, I hope he proves he can be LT, but if he fails im with the others who think hell end up a solid RT for us since we have Guards.


I agree that if we took at guy at pick 23 that turns out to be a 2nd or 3rd round talent, he was a bust. IMO, that's already the case. It's LT or Probowl at another position, IMO, in order for Reiff to not be considered a bust.


May 3rd, 2013, 12:09 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
rao wrote:
thelomasbrowns wrote:
Interesting development: GB is moving Bulaga, Reiff's predecessor at Iowa, to LT. Wonder who will turn out better?


They are incredibly similar, almost the exact same height speed and weight. Same arm length and even drafted in the same spot. If I were picking a favorite to be considered the better player I would give it to Bulaga because he plays with the better QB. A great QB can often make a LT look better with a quick release and good pocket awareness.


Yeah, But, 1 of them, ( Bulaga ), have a face that flops around when he runs. That means he is fat weight. I will take the muscle weight over fat weight any day.


May 3rd, 2013, 8:13 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
BillySims wrote:
rao wrote:
thelomasbrowns wrote:
Interesting development: GB is moving Bulaga, Reiff's predecessor at Iowa, to LT. Wonder who will turn out better?


They are incredibly similar, almost the exact same height speed and weight. Same arm length and even drafted in the same spot. If I were picking a favorite to be considered the better player I would give it to Bulaga because he plays with the better QB. A great QB can often make a LT look better with a quick release and good pocket awareness.


Yeah, But, 1 of them, ( Bulaga ), have a face that flops around when he runs. That means he is fat weight. I will take the muscle weight over fat weight any day.


Can't say I ever noticed anything like that, but I hope your right. It would be nice to be better than GB at something.


May 3rd, 2013, 11:57 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
rao wrote:
BillySims wrote:
rao wrote:
thelomasbrowns wrote:
Interesting development: GB is moving Bulaga, Reiff's predecessor at Iowa, to LT. Wonder who will turn out better?


They are incredibly similar, almost the exact same height speed and weight. Same arm length and even drafted in the same spot. If I were picking a favorite to be considered the better player I would give it to Bulaga because he plays with the better QB. A great QB can often make a LT look better with a quick release and good pocket awareness.


Yeah, But, 1 of them, ( Bulaga ), have a face that flops around when he runs. That means he is fat weight. I will take the muscle weight over fat weight any day.


Can't say I ever noticed anything like that, but I hope your right. It would be nice to be better than GB at something.


The year Bulaga was drafted, he was running and his face was flopping all over the place. I was hoping we would not draft him because of it. I can't find any of his combines video. Does the NFL trash them after so long?


May 4th, 2013, 8:17 am
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
BillySims wrote:
rao wrote:
BillySims wrote:
rao wrote:
thelomasbrowns wrote:
Interesting development: GB is moving Bulaga, Reiff's predecessor at Iowa, to LT. Wonder who will turn out better?


They are incredibly similar, almost the exact same height speed and weight. Same arm length and even drafted in the same spot. If I were picking a favorite to be considered the better player I would give it to Bulaga because he plays with the better QB. A great QB can often make a LT look better with a quick release and good pocket awareness.


Yeah, But, 1 of them, ( Bulaga ), have a face that flops around when he runs. That means he is fat weight. I will take the muscle weight over fat weight any day.


Can't say I ever noticed anything like that, but I hope your right. It would be nice to be better than GB at something.


The year Bulaga was drafted, he was running and his face was flopping all over the place. I was hoping we would not draft him because of it. I can't find any of his combines video. Does the NFL trash them after so long?


I think they only host them until the next combine.


May 4th, 2013, 9:12 am
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
I love it how so many people think they know so much about his game after 1 season in which he spent mostly on the bench. We have some legendary talent scouts on these boards. I'm not that gifted so I'm just excited to see how he progresses this season

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May 4th, 2013, 5:33 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
Killwill25 wrote:
I love it how so many people think they know so much about his game after 1 season in which he spent mostly on the bench. We have some legendary talent scouts on these boards. I'm not that gifted so I'm just excited to see how he progresses this season


I agree Killwill. There's no way ANYBODY on this forum can determine just how good Reiff will or won't be based on the limited showing he had last season. Personally, I think he played OK in the game he filled in for Backus. Was he outstanding? No. Was he terrible? No. He played like a rookie late first rounder in his first game, which is to be expected.

The idea that Reiff has to be a Pro Bowler in order to not consider him a bust is a ridiculous notion. ANY player, regardless of where he was selected, who can maintain being a starter for more than five or six years in this league can be considered successful. Where you are drafted only determines the value of your first contract. It says nothing about a players talent, nothing about a players intelligence or his character.

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May 4th, 2013, 9:04 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
m2karateman wrote:
Killwill25 wrote:
I love it how so many people think they know so much about his game after 1 season in which he spent mostly on the bench. We have some legendary talent scouts on these boards. I'm not that gifted so I'm just excited to see how he progresses this season


I agree Killwill. There's no way ANYBODY on this forum can determine just how good Reiff will or won't be based on the limited showing he had last season. Personally, I think he played OK in the game he filled in for Backus. Was he outstanding? No. Was he terrible? No. He played like a rookie late first rounder in his first game, which is to be expected.

The idea that Reiff has to be a Pro Bowler in order to not consider him a bust is a ridiculous notion. ANY player, regardless of where he was selected, who can maintain being a starter for more than five or six years in this league can be considered successful. Where you are drafted only determines the value of your first contract. It says nothing about a players talent, nothing about a players intelligence or his character.


You generally draft mediocre starting OGs in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. I didn't say he had to be a probowler at any position, I said that IF he can't play OT, THEN he has to be a probowl player at OG in order to have earned his draft slot.


May 4th, 2013, 9:08 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
I have a question concerning Reiff. There seems to be a lot of concern about him, and his ability to cover the position that Backus vacated, but last year when Backus was replaced by Reiff, we were pleasantly surprised. I don't remember it being an issue, and his ability to do the job last season really helped us fans, settle into a post Backus 2013. So what's changed? How has Reiff gotten worse from a rookie year that he didn't have speed of game knowledge, nor playbook knowledge?

Thoughts please?

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May 7th, 2013, 2:06 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
Interesting Article about the Decline of Important of the Left Tackle with some pretty legit reasoning.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/draft201 ... ric-fisher

ESPN Inside wrote:
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Mistakes at top of NFL draft
By Andy Benoit - Football Outsiders

By all accounts, Eric Fisher is going to be a fine NFL player. Maybe even a great one. Scouts agree that he's a sound, steady, athletic technician with upside -- perhaps an even better prospect than offensive tackles Jake Long and Joe Thomas were coming out of college. The problem is Fisher plays a position that, in terms of importance, is in serious decline. But few seem to notice.

After Michael Lewis published "The Blind Side" in 2006, NFL analysts and fans started describing left tackle as the game's second-most important position, behind quarterback. Their reasoning was that the left tackle is the one most responsible for the quarterback's safety. It became chic to trumpet the 300-pounders as unheralded stars. It even became chic to pay them like heralded stars. This seems logical, but it fails to see the big picture of today's NFL. And once you consider this ongoing offensive evolution, it seems rather silly to take an offensive tackle at the top of Round 1.

In pro football's recent and ongoing evolution, increasingly fewer offensive concepts are heavily dependent on a left tackle being able to win on an island against a quality defensive opponent.

A lot of passing attacks these days operate primarily out of spread sets with three- and five-step drop-back timing. The objective is getting the ball out quickly to skill players in space. This naturally quells a pass rush, as it is physically impossible for an edge rusher to reach a quarterback on three-step timing and very difficult for him to get there against five-step timing. Besides, when pass-rushers do get there, good quarterbacks have learned how to compensate with pocket mobility, progression-read poise and pre-snap diagnostic skills. Many also have the athleticism to extend plays on the perimeter.

What's more, much of today's game is predicated on disguise and deception. When the offense does take a deep shot (which requires a seven-step drop), it's usually out of a running formation and involves some sort of play-action. (The key to most deep-shot designs is baiting the safety into stepping forward.) These deceptive tactics often have a tight end blocking on the edge and/or a running back staying in to protect. Which means the left tackle is usually getting help.

The run game is changing, too. Yes, there will always be situations in football where an offense has to move the chains by ramming the ball through the A, B and C gaps. But more and more run games today are predicated on agility and deception. This is seen most starkly in the rise of toss sweeps and delay handoffs out of three- and four-receiver sets (including shotgun). And it's especially seen in the increasingly popular read-option (where the left tackle can essentially be something of a decoy, as the offense's objective is to force an unblocked edge defender into making an either/or decision on the ball). Gone are the days when left tackles have to constantly pile-drive opponents off the ball.

All of these trends point to less being demanded of left tackles. Where teams once needed a great player at the position, a lot of them now just need a player who doesn't stink.

Of course, the consequences of having a left tackle who does stink can be dire -- especially given that offense is not the only side of the ball that is evolving. Defenses today present remarkably sophisticated sub-package disguises and pass-rush designs, plus they're loaded with insanely gifted athletes, particularly on the front edges. One could maybe even argue that an elite left tackle is now vital for any offense that does not have an upper-tier quarterback. Because if the quarterback can't adjust to the defense, the offense's only prayer is with a potent front line.

But a legitimate rebuttal is that an elite left tackle is still not enough anyway. Based on the play calling we're seeing these days, most offensive coaches seem to agree. The evolution of defense has been so profound that offenses, no matter who they have up front, don't feel comfortable relying heavily on any single pass-blocker. Teams are using a lot more schematic wrinkles and group efforts to protect their quarterback. Tactics like chip-blocks, tight formations, rolled pockets and slide protections are now standard. A left tackle has little or nothing to do with combating complex defensive tactics; it's all about the quarterback's ability to make pre- and post-snap adjustments.

As with quicker, more spread-out pass plays and space-oriented running, an uptick in group-oriented blocking concepts points to less being demanded of a left tackle. Consequently, the difference between a Eric Fisher and, say, a Menelik Watson, is naturally mitigated. "Fisher with help" might dominate his opponent on a given play, while "Watson with help" might only neutralize his opponent. But what does it matter? Both produce the same result: a protected quarterback. Sure, Fisher's superiority over Watson might still shine in certain run-blocking situations. But in today's pass-happy NFL, that's not hugely valuable (as the declining market for running backs attests to).

The effects of these evolutionary changes can be seen in the makeup of the past five years' Super Bowl rosters. One of the many leaguewide trends these rosters reflect is that quarterbacks are everything while left tackles are, well, just pieces. Look at the starting quarterbacks from the past five Super Bowls: Joe Flacco, Colin Kaepernick, Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Kurt Warner.

These guys need no explanation. All are top-shelf superstars except Flacco and Kaepernick (and they both have distinct superstar traits, including maybe the most important of all: an ability to make strong-armed throws in tight windows).

Now look at the collective mediocrity of the left tackles who protected these superstars:

Bryant McKinnie, 2012, Ravens: Veteran castoff who began the season as a backup; he entered the starting lineup because of a domino effect from injuries at right tackle and guard.

Joe Staley, 2012, 49ers: An outlier, as he's the only guy on this list to make the Pro Bowl in his team's Super Bowl season.
David Diehl, 2011, Giants: A respectable veteran right tackle who moved to the left side after Will Beatty's injury.
Matt Light, 2011, Patriots: A very solid veteran but one who was beginning to wear down; Super Bowl XLII wound up being his final game.
Chad Clifton, 2010, Packers: Another solid veteran who was wearing down. Played just six games in 2011 before being out of the league.
Trai Essex, 2010, Steelers: A backup who started just three games the following season; was essentially out of the league by the end of 2012.
Jermon Bushrod, 2009, Saints: Many insiders described him as the league's worst left tackle in 2009. He would eventually develop into an adequate starter, but not until the second part of 2011. The Saints were not devastated when he signed with the Bears this past March.
Charlie Johnson, 2009, Colts: A utility player who became a guard in Minnesota.
Max Starks, 2008, Steelers: A fairly decent starter but one who could be prone to mistakes and bad weight gain.
Mike Gandy, 2008, Cardinals: Went on IR in the middle of 2009 with a pelvic/groin injury; was released after the season (at age 30) and never played again.

Obviously there are a lot of factors besides elite quarterback play that propel a team to the Super Bowl. But elite left tackle play does not appear to be one of them.

On a similar note, let's look at the teams that have had elite left tackles. Below is a list of the AP first-team All-Pros from each of the past five years, along with their team's record from that season.

Tackle - Year - Team - Record

Duane Brown 2012 Texans 12-4
Ryan Clady 2012 Broncos 13-3
Joe Thomas 2011 Browns 4-12
Jason Peters 2011 Eagles 8-8
Jake Long 2010 Dolphins 7-9
Joe Thomas 2010 Browns 5-11
Ryan Clady 2009 Broncos 8-8
Joe Thomas 2009 Browns 5-11
Jordan Gross 2008 Panthers 12-4
Michael Roos 2008 Titans 13-3

Over the past five years, the NFL's marquee left tackles have been Thomas, Long, Ryan Clady, Michael Roos, Jason Peters and Jordan Gross. How successful have the Browns, Dolphins, pre-Manning Broncos, Titans, Eagles and Panthers been in that span? Their collective record in games that these left tackles started is 210-232.

Maybe it is unfair to tie a team's wins and losses to a left tackle -- but that's the point. If there is little correlation between quality left tackle play and winning, why are left tackles still considered premium assets? By its very nature, the position is forever mundane, not dynamic. Its function is to allow for big offensive plays and prevent big defensive plays. Unlike quarterback, receiver, running back, defensive line and linebacker, the left tackle position cannot create big plays. You cannot craft your team's identity around a left tackle. So why take one at the very top of the first round?

Theoretically, what presents more opportunity to help your quarterback in today's quick-passing, space-oriented NFL? Drafting a left tackle high in the first round, or trading down and drafting, say, two receivers who can win off the line of scrimmage and make plays in space? Think of it this way: In an honest moment, who would Tom Brady admit he could least afford to lose, Nate Solder or Aaron Hernandez? It's not even a question; Solder is good, but Hernandez is critical to New England's identity.

Perhaps a more pertinent example is Andy Dalton and the Bengals. Being an average pocket passer with average raw tools, Dalton is exactly the type of quarterback who needs good protection. And he gets that, as eighth-year veteran Andrew Whitworth has blossomed into one of the league's better left tackles. And yet, no intelligent football observer would say Whitworth is more valuable to the Bengals than A.J. Green. If the Bengals were to lose Whitworth, their protection concepts would have to be reworked. If they were to lose Green, their entire offense would have to be reworked.

Not every team has a talent like Green. But when you're drafting near the very top of the first round, that's what you're trying to find. Superstars. Building blocks. Guys who define your team. You're not looking for really good cogs (which is what left tackles are becoming). Those are found in the bottom of the first round or in the later rounds, not with the No. 1 overall pick.


May 7th, 2013, 2:19 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
WarEr4Christ wrote:
I have a question concerning Reiff. There seems to be a lot of concern about him, and his ability to cover the position that Backus vacated, but last year when Backus was replaced by Reiff, we were pleasantly surprised. I don't remember it being an issue, and his ability to do the job last season really helped us fans, settle into a post Backus 2013. So what's changed? How has Reiff gotten worse from a rookie year that he didn't have speed of game knowledge, nor playbook knowledge?

Thoughts please?


I think most people are ok with Reiff playing LT. It was just we all saw a chance to get an even greater prospect to play the spot and it would have moved Reiff to a spot a lot feel he would be even better at. IMO people will begin to feel more comfortable after the draft fades from memory and the training camps start. Once that happens it'll be all about needing a better RT option.


May 7th, 2013, 3:29 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
rao wrote:
WarEr4Christ wrote:
I have a question concerning Reiff. There seems to be a lot of concern about him, and his ability to cover the position that Backus vacated, but last year when Backus was replaced by Reiff, we were pleasantly surprised. I don't remember it being an issue, and his ability to do the job last season really helped us fans, settle into a post Backus 2013. So what's changed? How has Reiff gotten worse from a rookie year that he didn't have speed of game knowledge, nor playbook knowledge?

Thoughts please?


I think most people are ok with Reiff playing LT. It was just we all saw a chance to get an even greater prospect to play the spot and it would have moved Reiff to a spot a lot feel he would be even better at. IMO people will begin to feel more comfortable after the draft fades from memory and the training camps start. Once that happens it'll be all about needing a better RT option.


This.

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May 7th, 2013, 3:48 pm
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