Harold & Kumar made a trip to White Castle an exciting adventure. Now, one member of the Detroit Lions is doing the exact opposite in order to better prepare himself for his second season in the Motor City.
Last year, only one rookie selected in the 2020 NFL Draft started all 16 games for the Lions. That player was Ohio State offensive guard Jonah Jackson. Selected in the third round, Jackson played more than 1,000 offensive snaps at left guard. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed five sacks and committed five penalties in 2020.
With a full offseason training program under his belt and both training camp and a full preseason ahead of him, Jackson has been trying his best to improve himself as he heads into his second season.
According to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com, that means fewer trips to Taco Bell and White Castle for Jackson in an effort to watch his calorie intake. Here’s what the young lineman told the team’s official website recently …
"“Just taking care of my body better and being a pro in that aspect. Handling my diet and staying on top of my weight. Just getting stronger, bigger, smarter. Trying to dial in as much as I can to help myself this next year.”"
Coming in at 6-foot-3, 306-pounds, Jackson’s development this summer will be something fans will eagerly want to monitor. If the 24-year old takes his game to another level, the Lions will likely possess the most talented offensive line in the entire NFL. That would be great news for new quarterback Jared Goff and second-year running back D’Andre Swift.
The Lions’ offensive line currently consists of three former first-rounders. At left tackle, Taylor Decker was a first-round selection back in 2016. Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow was selected in the first round two years later. And just this past April, the Lions drafted Oregon’s Penei Sewell with the seventh overall pick, and the talented rookie is expected to be an instant starter at right tackle.
New offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn figures to lean heavily on the team’s current strengths in his first season in Detroit. That likely means trying to dominate time of possession by efficiently running the football and allowing his offensive line to win the battle in the trenches.
An offensive focus on the running game in Detroit would play into Jared Goff’s strengths as a two-time Pro Bowl quarterback. Goff’s former team, the Los Angeles Rams, found success using the run to set up the pass in the form of play-action passes. So establishing the run in Detroit, something the Lions have struggled to do now for years, could be the key to unlocking the passing attack. But it all starts with the play of the offensive line