The addition of long time Green Bay Packers’ veteran guard T.J. Lang to the Detroit Lions’ offensive line this season helps inject experience into a young unit.
Retooling the offensive line was a major focus for the Detroit Lions this offseason. Following the losses of both offensive guard Larry Warford and right tackle Riley Reiff to free agency, the Lions’ front office spent a lot of monies signing their replacements.
The Lions also signed former Green Bay Packers’ veteran guard T.J. Lang in free agency, landing the long-time divisional foe for three years at the price of $28.5 million.
Lang, a fourth round selection out of Eastern Michigan in 2009, won a Super Bowl with the Packers his second year in the NFL. Despite being in the league for eight seasons now, the 29-year old was named to his first Pro Bowl just last year.
According to the Lions’ brass, Lang’s addition to the offensive line brings some much needed veteran experience to a relatively young positional group.
"“We have a pretty young offensive line when you look at who is in that room right now. I think to add a veteran [Lang] that has some personality, that’s been through some wars, been through a lot of playoff games, is something that is really important,” Lions’ general manager Bob Quinn told the Detroit Free Press. “…you can’t have all rookie and second-year offensive lineman. You need some guys in there that can kinda lead those guys and show them how to do that.”"
The Lions current offensive line includes fourth-year center Travis Swanson, second-year center Graham Glasgow, and rookie center Leo Koloamatangi. At guard along with Lang are third-year players Brandon Thomas and Laken Tomlinson.
And at tackle are second-year Taylor Decker, who is currently out due to a shoulder injury, third-year Corey Robinson, fourth-year Greg Robinson, rookie Storm Norton, fourth-year Cornelius Lucas, third-year Cyrus Kouandjio, Wagner in his fifth season and Tony Hills in his ninth.
The Detroit Lions appear to have a nice mix of veterans and youth along their offensive line this season. Training camp should go a long way in determining just how quickly this group and come together as a unit in 2017. The veteran presence of a player like T.J. Lang should only aid in that effort.