Lions sign linemen, but deny it’s indictment on linemen

AP

Just because the Lions signed two offensive linemen with more than 200 games of NFL experience between them, they don’t want anyone to think it’s a reflection on the current group.

Especially not a third-round guard they drafted to be a starter.

It’s absolutely not an indictment on anybody,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “It’s just a fact of being able to add quality players and keep adding them. We have 90 guys in camp, so might as well take advantage of that and set ourselves up the best we can.”

The Lions signed Leroy Harris and Jake Scott over the previous two days, adding 206 games of experience and 170 starts to a group that has seen a drastic makeover.

After losing tackles Jeff Backus (retirement) and Gosder Cherilus (free agency) and cutting former starting guard Stephen Peterman, the Lions are shuffling the deck. Unable to draft a tackle early, they moved 2012 first-rounder Riley Reiff to left tackle, and took Larry Warford in this year’s third round with designs on making him the starting right guard.

“Larry’s going to be a good player, he’s just got to learn the game,” left guard Rob Sims said. “That’s the hardest thing about learning the technique here, it’s hard to just come right out of the gate and just know everything. He’s listening, and he’s learning, and he’s going to be a good player down the line.”

And if he’s not a good player immediately, they have a couple of options to look at in case.

11 responses to “Lions sign linemen, but deny it’s indictment on linemen

  1. Passing on Menelik Watson in round 2 was a huge mistake. Slay is gonna be okay, but they could have rolled with:

    Watson-Sims-Raiola-Warford-Reiff

  2. I like options… but player development is the key.

    Zero faith in Schwartz for this… but Jeremiah Washburn seems to know his stuff and glad to see him take the reigns on O line.

    As for Kocurek and the D line… K needs to be on a VERY short leash… they’ve underperformed for 2 straight years – as a ‘line’.

    I believe and hope that Jim Washburn was brought in to take over if the D line doesn’t play up to it’s potential… I just hope they don’t waste another full season making that decision.

    FAR too much talent to continue to be pedestrian at 20th D in the league… and it starts up front.

  3. Yeah, signing these two guys off the street surely has nothing to do with what the team has seen in OTA’s.

  4. You all are always making it sound like the Lions are “settling” for Reiff at LT. This is just not true. Reiff was drafted to be the left tackle.

  5. both mayhew and schwartz said after the draft that they were happy with their current group but wanted to add some veterans to the equation. none of this is shocking if you pay attention to the team.

  6. let’s see here, you have a very young o-line. There are a couple of veterans left on the market late in the offseason and these vets have tons of starting experience. If they didn’t try to add them I’d be more worried

  7. I’ve always had the impression that Reiff was meant to be the eventual replacement for Backus. That doesn’t bother me.

    Also – bringing in more help on the offensive line seems like a smart move. Old vets available at reasonable prices, guys who can mentor the young guys … what’s wrong with that?

  8. I think the front office is doing a great job this off-season continuing to bring in new talent to drive competition. Last year they were very quite with FA signings and way too comfortable with who they had. That translated into very little “energy” during the season. Hopefully all these players are hungry to make the 53 man roster and push the starters to get better.

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