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 Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all 
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Post Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
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Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
1:41 PM, April 30, 2013

After months of debating different combinations, the Detroit Lions finally have some clarity on their offensive line.

Riley Reiff, who spent last season as the Lions’ sixth lineman, will enter the fall as Jeff Backus’ presumptive replacement at left tackle.

Reiff’s position had been in limbo while the Lions sorted out how to best replace three starters from a line that played most of the last three seasons together. He’s capable of playing guard or tackle, and the Lions strongly considered using him at right guard.

But after missing out on the draft’s top three tackles in the first round and taking Kentucky guard Larry Warford in the third round, Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Reiff will play the position he originally was drafted for.

“We drafted him as a left tackle,” Schwartz said. “Probably with the way things ended up here, we’ll probably start him off there. We have a lot of confidence in him. I mean, that’s why we drafted him last year.”

The 23rd overall pick in last year’s draft, Reiff started one game at left tackle as a rookie, when Jeff Backus was out with a hamstring injury.

Backus retired in March. Right tackle Gosder Cherilus left in free agency, and right guard Stephen Peterman was released, leaving the Lions with one of the least experienced lines in the NFL. Peterman signed with the New York Jets on Monday.

Left guard Rob Sims and center Dominic Raiola return as starters. Warford could take over from Peterman, and Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard — with five starts between them — will vie for the right tackle job. Bill Nagy, who has missed most of his first two years with ankle injuries, also could push for time at center or right guard.

Schwartz said Reiff, a fixture around the building this off-season, has looked “more at ease” entering his second year.

“There’s a big difference between walking in the building as a rookie and being around here for a year,” he said. “He got some playing experience last year. He’s worked very hard at it. It’s just a different look about you when you’re a second-year player. You know where the locker room is, you know where the cafeteria is, you know your way to the weight room. You don’t look lost and, a lot of the times, rookies do. Everything’s new to them. It’s not new to him this year. He’s been through a training camp, he’s been through a full season.”

Contact Dave Birkett: 313-222-2037 or dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

http://www.freep.com/article/20130430/S ... -after-all

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April 30th, 2013, 2:26 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
Well, unless we made the trade for Albert, what choice do we have? Im not a fan of him being our LT, but hes probably our best option.

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April 30th, 2013, 2:40 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
kdsberman wrote:
Well, unless we made the trade for Albert, what choice do we have? Im not a fan of him being our LT, but hes probably our best option.


Can we get Jag's on the phone about Eugene Munroe? Isn't there a couple of player pieces we can drop them with a draft in exchange for his services?

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April 30th, 2013, 2:50 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
Mufasa wrote:
kdsberman wrote:
Well, unless we made the trade for Albert, what choice do we have? Im not a fan of him being our LT, but hes probably our best option.


Can we get Jag's on the phone about Eugene Munroe? Isn't there a couple of player pieces we can drop them with a draft in exchange for his services?


If he didn't carry so much damn dead money Suh could get us a LT like Monroe and maybe a 3rd round pick, and there's really no one on the roster that they'd want.

Also, they probably want Monroe to remain at LT and Joeckel to start at RT.

It doesn't matter, though. Monroe is a FA next off-season. Nonetheless, we won't be able to field a championship team soon until Staff is restructured AND Suh is traded.

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April 30th, 2013, 3:03 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
If I were Mayhew I would be giving Philly a jingle. Jason Peters is said to be looking fine after his injury and it would only cost the Eagles 800k to move his $10M cap hit. If the Lions could workout a small extension with him before the trade, so he can get some guaranteed money and significantly reduce his cap number it could be worth it. If Philly is going to move to a more uptempo style I don't see anyway Peters is going to fit for them and he would be a nice anchor on the left for 3 more seasons I'm sure.

This would still Require Staff to get restructured though.


April 30th, 2013, 3:22 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
rao wrote:
If I were Mayhew I would be giving Philly a jingle. Jason Peters is said to be looking fine after his injury and it would only cost the Eagles 800k to move his $10M cap hit. If the Lions could workout a small extension with him before the trade, so he can get some guaranteed money and significantly reduce his cap number it could be worth it. If Philly is going to move to a more uptempo style I don't see anyway Peters is going to fit for them and he would be a nice anchor on the left for 3 more seasons I'm sure.

This would still Require Staff to get restructured though.


I never really thought about that, and it sounds great, but do you really trust a LT coming off a torn achilles? Sounds horrible for a guy of that size.

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April 30th, 2013, 3:26 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
Shotty wrote:
rao wrote:
If I were Mayhew I would be giving Philly a jingle. Jason Peters is said to be looking fine after his injury and it would only cost the Eagles 800k to move his $10M cap hit. If the Lions could workout a small extension with him before the trade, so he can get some guaranteed money and significantly reduce his cap number it could be worth it. If Philly is going to move to a more uptempo style I don't see anyway Peters is going to fit for them and he would be a nice anchor on the left for 3 more seasons I'm sure.

This would still Require Staff to get restructured though.


I never really thought about that, and it sounds great, but do you really trust a LT coming off a torn achilles? Sounds horrible for a guy of that size.


I trust him to be able to handle the blind side well enough even as a lesser player to beat out Reiff. Peters went to 5 pro bowls in a row and was a 4 time all-pro in consecutive years before his injury. As long as the medical staff say his Achilles is stable and not at significant risk to rupture again I would feel good about him. I think I would also ask him to bring down his weight a bit, but that's not a deal breaker if he's truly healed.


April 30th, 2013, 3:36 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
This is what you call a "duh" story, as we all knew this when the Lions didn't take an OT in Rds 1-3 at the draft, but its not a big deal that they confirm it now. I could see a Deal for Peters, but honestly I don't expect more than 6-8 wins next season anyways so why spend a bunch of money on a temporary fix. Save the cash, play the season, extend those who deserve it and bring in an OT next season (either draft or FA ) if we have the squad to compete with them (assuming Reiff doesn't work out). Im ok Giving Reiff the year (after we missed the top 3 this draft) to prove if he can be an LT or not, and if not move him to OG next season.


April 30th, 2013, 3:46 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
DJ-B wrote:
This is what you call a "duh" story, as we all knew this when the Lions didn't take an OT in Rds 1-3 at the draft, but its not a big deal that they confirm it now. I could see a Deal for Peters, but honestly I don't expect more than 6-8 wins next season anyways so why spend a bunch of money on a temporary fix. Save the cash, play the season, extend those who deserve it and bring in an OT next season (either draft or FA ) if we have the squad to compete with them (assuming Reiff doesn't work out). Im ok Giving Reiff the year (after we missed the top 3 this draft) to prove if he can be an LT or not, and if not move him to OG next season.


Can't be THAT negative. Trust me, I know this team is barely average and don't think they can win more than 7-8 games, but who knows? Lots of mystery players will get significant PT like Slay, Ansah, Fox/Hilliard/Nagy, Whitehead/Palmer/Lewis being the most vital. Who's to say the winner of both 3-man battles isn't a big improvement, or Ansah learns quickly (the guy learned how beat a double team in 42 days...) or Slay comes in looked at as just one of the best corners in the class like Revis and tears it up?

If we were to add Peters, I think he's still a Pro Bowl caliber tackle, but not All-Pro caliber. He'd be a enormous upgrade over Backus and the line would be a solid unit with Reiff playing to his strengths at RG or RT. Staff would have some more time, Reggie could have some big runs to the outside, and the flow of the offense would be much smoother. Imagine the offense we had with Best, but also with an improved offensive line. We'd score many, many more TDs than we did last year if we could get a LT who can really play and Bush stayed healthy all season.

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April 30th, 2013, 4:08 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
This is not surprising at all. Its not like he wont be improved from his rookie season. It seems like many people on here just expect him to be terrible but I don't get it. He wasn't a starter and I thought he did OK in his role but he's been groomed and will almost certainly be better this season. During N.O.'s superbowl run, Jarmon Bushrod was known as one of the most suspect lineman in the league and now he is one of the best. Otherwise what?...replace him with an expensive OT(Marcus McNeil) and complain about how Reiff was another wasted draft pick even though we only gave him his rookie year.

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April 30th, 2013, 6:46 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
rao wrote:
If I were Mayhew I would be giving Philly a jingle. Jason Peters is said to be looking fine after his injury and it would only cost the Eagles 800k to move his $10M cap hit. If the Lions could workout a small extension with him before the trade, so he can get some guaranteed money and significantly reduce his cap number it could be worth it. If Philly is going to move to a more uptempo style I don't see anyway Peters is going to fit for them and he would be a nice anchor on the left for 3 more seasons I'm sure.

This would still Require Staff to get restructured though.


i dont understand why peters wouldnt fit in a more uptempo scheme? have you seen the way this guy can move? he s one of the most athletic OTs around. the way he can move and block on the 2nd level is pretty impressive. if he s healthy, he d be a great pickup.


April 30th, 2013, 7:20 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
The Legend wrote:
rao wrote:
If I were Mayhew I would be giving Philly a jingle. Jason Peters is said to be looking fine after his injury and it would only cost the Eagles 800k to move his $10M cap hit. If the Lions could workout a small extension with him before the trade, so he can get some guaranteed money and significantly reduce his cap number it could be worth it. If Philly is going to move to a more uptempo style I don't see anyway Peters is going to fit for them and he would be a nice anchor on the left for 3 more seasons I'm sure.

This would still Require Staff to get restructured though.


i dont understand why peters wouldnt fit in a more uptempo scheme? have you seen the way this guy can move? he s one of the most athletic OTs around. the way he can move and block on the 2nd level is pretty impressive. if he s healthy, he d be a great pickup.


I'm not concerned with his ability to get to the second level, that has nothing to do with being up tempo. Uptempo means faster snaps, more plays, and less rest between them. The guy is 6'4'' and 340 lbs at age 31 coming back into the game after a year rehabbing, he is not going to have the stamina to play the amount of snaps the eagles are expected to play. He did say he was trying to get down to 320 because of what Kelly has been running in camp, so they may not have any interest in moving him. It's just something I would look into if I were in Mayhew's shoes.


April 30th, 2013, 7:44 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
Reiff is a starter by default. Next season will prove it. We'll be picking in the top 15 again, and discussing Taylor Lewan this time next offseason.


April 30th, 2013, 7:47 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
wjb21ndtown wrote:
Reiff is a starter by default. Next season will prove it. We'll be picking in the top 15 again, and discussing Taylor Lewan this time next offseason.


This very well could be true.

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April 30th, 2013, 9:34 pm
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Post Re: Lions' Riley Reiff will start at left tackle after all
First off the Eagles aren't going to just let Peters walk for a bag of balls if he is looking good and Limey won't move him anyways. Instead they will likely have him play LT and have Lane anchor the right side this season and kick over to LT next season. Secondly why would a team even with a "?" at LT trade anything of value for a 31 year old LT coming off a major injury? Is Reiff the answer? I think the answer will be known by the end of the third preseason game. If not I think he will be serviceable enough to get Stafford through the season and as of right now next year looks just about as deep at OT as this draft.

As much as LT is the key to any QB having time the C is just as important as far as anchoring the pocket and giving the QB a spot to step up into to and that is where I am concerned. It's the guys constantly in Stafford's face that disrupt him more than a guy getting free on the backside. Stafford isn't a runner but he has enough movement in his game to escape a free rusher but without a clean pocket he tends to throw off of his backfoot and that's when things go bad.


April 30th, 2013, 11:20 pm
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