Detroit Lions Doing Major Offensive Line Overhaul


Dec 2, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Indianapolis Colts defensive line lines up against the Detroit Lions offensive line during the first quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Warning, warning, the following article is only for the diehard Detroit Lions fan who can’t get enough of anything Honolulu Blue and Silver. We’re talking about a subject that the Lions haven’t dealt with for like about forever. We’re talking O-line here. Okay, now that the room has been cleared out, the rest of us can concentrate on the seismic shift that is underway in reshaping the Detroit Lions’ offensive line.

Finally, after what seems like decades of not paying attention to the big uglies up front, the Detroit Lions have apparently decided that they’re tired of being a one dimensional team that throws the ball almost every snap. Matthew Stafford setting a record last season for the most passes attempted is not a good thing, folks. It means you can’t run the ball worth a lick. The Lions haven’t had a offensive line that could push people around since the early nineties.

The Lions game plan for the radical re-shifting of it’s O-line is slowly being revealed as we approach the almighty draft. Rob Sims could be the only one left from last year to come back as a starter. I always thought that the Lions paid too much attention to the skill players on offense and not enough time looking under the hood to see how that engine was running. Well, that hood’s been popped open all winter, and they’re still not done tinkering with it.

Jeff Backus retiring when he did last week is a parting gift from the former left tackle. This puts the Lions on course to (cross my fingers) draft local product Eric Fisher from Central Michigan. I think this is a no-brainer of a pick when you consider that the defensive end position is a heck of a lot deeper than the tackle position in this year’s draft.

The Lions have been very open about their philosophy about surrounding Stafford with with as many weapons as possible. I think last years dismal failure woke them up to the fact that maybe arming Stafford with a running game might be prudent thing to do.

I’m not buying Martin Mayhew when he says last year’s number one pick, Riley Reiff, could play left tackle next year. The worst kept secret in the NFL this offseason is that the Lions are “strongly considering” moving Reiff to right guard. Rumors like that are designed to lessen the shock of it when it actually happens. If I remember my Football 101 correctly, the left tackle skill set is a whole lot different than the right guard skill set. I think the Lions found out that Reiff is better suited to play the guard spot than he is left tackle. Which means the Lions are hoping that Fisher slides to them at number 5. Heck, I’d be cool if Fisher is gone and the Lions reach a little and take OL Lane Johnson.

If the Lions do take a tackle with the first pick, then the next move is to see if Bill Nagy can beat out Dominic Raiola and be the missing link to being a top notch road grading crew in the NFL.

Wouldn’t it be nice, come December, that the Lions are at a crucial point in a game that really matters, and it’s third and one and you just know they’re going to run it. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an O-line that you just knew was going to knock the snot out of the other team for that game-winning yard? I’m crossing my fingers in hoping that the Lions complete this overhaul before they close the hood.