Detroit Lions believe their offensive line is even better with Kevin Zeitler

It's hard for the Detroit Lions offensive line to be much better than it has been, but they believe the addition of Kevin Zeitler has made the unit better.
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Going back to training camp last summer, the Detroit Lions tried to get Jonah Jackson signed to a contract extension. But even after a down year in a contract year, a booming free agent market for guards made it all but certain he would be gone.

With that, even as a right guard by trade that would mean Graham Glasgow would be moving to to the left side, Kevin Zeitler made some sense as a pivot option. As the second week of free agency started, the Lions got a deal done to bring Zeitler aboard.

There is an argument, with Glasgow having played left guard early in his career, that the Lions' offensive line is better now. And with the Philadelphia Eagles losing center Jason Kelce to retirement, the Lions could possibly have the best offensive line in the NFL now.

Zeitler indicated the Lions showed interest in him right when free agency started. It took almost a week to get him signed to what looks like a steal of a deal (one year, $6 million).

Detroit Lions believe their offensive line is better now

In Orlando at the league meetings this week, via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, Lions head coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes spoke about the team's free agent signings and of course Zeitler.

'He was somebody we were actually surprised he lasted as long as he did in free agency," Campbell said. "We thought he was going to be gone early. We liked him from the get-go. It didn't work out with Jonah, but Zeitler was the guy if (Jonah left). So, we just kind of talked to him from the get-go, stayed in touch, and we were able to make it work out."

"Between (center) Frank (Ragnow) and (right tackle) Penei (Sewell), he'll be a steady force in there, a consistent force. Really, we just became a really veteran group. A very smart, consistent group, in my mind, especially getting Graham back. Then we've got (Taylor) Decker over there at left tackle. I feel like we have not stepped back as an o-line; we've probably taken a step forward. That's exciting."

Holmes noticed Zeitler during the Lions' loss to to Ravens last season, and circled back to find out he had sustained that level of play all season.

"You never know when guys get to that age how long they’re going to last," Holmes said. "So, when it got to the end of the season, and really started diving into those targets, and looked at him again, I was like, 'Wow, no. He sustained that for the whole season.' He’s a guy that, he just fits like a glove for what we’re about. He plays the game how we want to play it. He fits the identity of what we’re all about."

Zeitler certainly does seem to be a great fit for the Lions. At least for 2024, the Lions' offensive line does seem to be a notch better than it already was.

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