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Reiff’s versatility will be a key for Lions moving forward

Jeff Backus, Riley Reiff AP

The good news is that Lions first-round pick Riley Reiff has impressed enough in offseason workouts to convince the team he can start.

The bad news is they don’t know where.

The college tackle has worked at both outside spots, and he could begin the year as Jeff Backus’ backup on the left side. Or he could replace Backus. Or he could push Gosder Cherilus for the right tackle job.

Or he could end up playing guard.

“The great thing about him is his versatility,” Lions GM Martin Mayhew told Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press. “He’s played primarily tackle out here, but I think he could probably play guard if he needed to.”

The Lions are likely to find a starting job for him somewhere this year, but he was a pick made with the future in mind.

The 34-year-old Backus has been solid for a long time, but is obviously nearer the end of his career than the beginning (or even the middle).

Cherilus, the 2008 first-rounder, is in the final year of his rookie contract, meaning the time will come soon to make a decision on his future.

Reiff’s progress will give them some flexibility in dealing with both.

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17 Responses to “Reiff’s versatility will be a key for Lions moving forward”
  1. roastmeforbeingacardsfan says: Jun 17, 2012 6:55 PM

    Man i hope Floyd works out, we could have had reiff. If floyd doesn’t pan out and reiff does, it will be Levi brown vs. AP all over again. I have faith in floyd though and WRs are harder to find than linemen.

  2. ee00ee says: Jun 17, 2012 6:58 PM

    That bad news is good news. My money is on the RT Cherilus getting the wake up call. It’ll be an eye opener to watch the rookie play for him. This is a contract year for him too, perhaps it’ll be win/win in they motivate him and get to re-sign him on the cheap.

  3. simplesimon1 says: Jun 17, 2012 7:30 PM

    roastme….. “I have faith in floyd though and WRs are harder to find than linemen.”

    I know you aren’t being rude but I had to comment. There is no way WR’s are harder to find than lineman. Not even close.

  4. lionsmark09 says: Jun 17, 2012 7:31 PM

    Best case – Reily plays LT with Backus at LG. Peterman out.

  5. nflfollower says: Jun 17, 2012 8:02 PM

    lionsmark—- Best case scenario for me is simply Peterman out. I wholeheartedly agree with you, I wouldn’t care if they had Reiff play LG for a year and kept Backus at LT tho, as long as he can still handle it. As long as we don’t have to watch Peterman anymore, I’m all for it.

  6. deepfreezerob says: Jun 17, 2012 8:02 PM

    The line will be better with Cherilus or Peterman on the bench and Reiff in

  7. lks311 says: Jun 17, 2012 8:06 PM

    lionmark09…

    Except Peterman plays RG. Sims, at LG, is solid.

  8. mjkelly77 says: Jun 17, 2012 8:10 PM

    I was actually a bigger fan of David DeCastro but wherever the Lions play Riley Reiff I’m sure he’ll work out. I believe DeCastro was a better pick at guard but Reiff can probably start at either tackle position and be effective.

  9. rbell2123 says: Jun 17, 2012 8:24 PM

    Best line combo for lions LT. Backus LG. Simms C. Raiola RG. Cherilus RT. Reiff

  10. tigers182 says: Jun 17, 2012 8:54 PM

    Cherilus is like 8 feet tall. How in the world would he play guard?

  11. sportsjoker says: Jun 17, 2012 9:05 PM

    Iowa Hawkeyes baby! Best college football program in the nation with the perfect coach!

  12. lolb23 says: Jun 17, 2012 11:14 PM

    10 year starter. No team has drafted better in the 1st round over the past 4 years than the Lions. Nobody.

  13. zamp27 says: Jun 18, 2012 12:48 AM

    I like what they are doing with him keeping him at tackle as Backus’ air apparent and to light a fire under Cherilus.

    IF those 2 can manage to stay healthy and perform, play Reiff at RG for a year.

    Gosder is 6 foot 7 and would equal Robert Gallery as the tallest Guard ever in league history–Not likely at all.

    Best case this year is:

    LT.Backus – LG.Sims – C.Raiola – RG.Reiff -RT.Cherilus

  14. randallflagg52 says: Jun 18, 2012 3:12 AM

    lolb23 says:Jun 17, 2012 11:14 PM

    10 year starter. No team has drafted better in the 1st round over the past 4 years than the Lions. Nobody.

    ==================================

    Seriously bro? What have Best, Fairley, and Cherilus accomplished since being in the NFL? Oh, a huge combo of being hurt all the time or ineffective for the lot of them. If you gave a team like Baltimore or Pittsburgh as many high first round picks as Detroit has had since 2007 you can bet they would build a dynasty.

  15. proof303 says: Jun 18, 2012 6:20 AM

    Im feelin the Lions. Bronco fan 2 the heart, but its good to see one of the leagues better known losing teams scrape their way out the gutter and become a power house!!

  16. darthhitman77 says: Jun 18, 2012 9:28 AM

    randallflagg52 says: Jun 18, 2012 3:12 AM

    lolb23 says:Jun 17, 2012 11:14 PM

    10 year starter. No team has drafted better in the 1st round over the past 4 years than the Lions. Nobody.

    ==================================

    Seriously bro? What have Best, Fairley, and Cherilus accomplished since being in the NFL? Oh, a huge combo of being hurt all the time or ineffective for the lot of them. If you gave a team like Baltimore or Pittsburgh as many high first round picks as Detroit has had since 2007 you can bet they would build a dynasty.
    ===============================

    Who says the Lions haven’t? Baltimore? REALLY? I mean, they have more players in the top 100 this year than anybody and their dynasty looks GREAT!!!

  17. tigers182 says: Jun 18, 2012 12:29 PM

    randallflagg52 says:
    Jun 18, 2012 3:12 AM
    lolb23 says:Jun 17, 2012 11:14 PM

    10 year starter. No team has drafted better in the 1st round over the past 4 years than the Lions. Nobody.

    ==================================

    Seriously bro? What have Best, Fairley, and Cherilus accomplished since being in the NFL? Oh, a huge combo of being hurt all the time or ineffective for the lot of them. If you gave a team like Baltimore or Pittsburgh as many high first round picks as Detroit has had since 2007 you can bet they would build a dynasty.

    ___________________________________
    Cherilus was 5 years ago, and Fairly has only played 1 season. Lame argument.

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