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Former guard with 20 career snaps may protect Stafford’s blind side

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Nothing is more important to the Lions than keeping quarterback Matthew Stafford upright, but that won’t be easy this season.

Starting left tackle Taylor Decker is recovering from shoulder surgery and will miss the start of the season, and so the Lions are scrambling for a new left tackle. That could mean giving the job to Joe Dahl, a fifth-round draft pick last year who played guard as a rookie and only got on the field for 20 snaps.

Dahl did play left tackle in college at Washington State, but he admits that the offense he played in under coach Mike Leach was nothing like an NFL offense.

“The huge thing was, we barely ran any schemes,” Dahl said. “We were really simple scheme-wise and then we never played in a three-point stance. We hardly ever run blocked, but it’s just learning all new schemes and all new techniques, so it’s entirely different.”

Still, Dahl is working at left tackle in OTAs and minicamp, and he thinks he’ll be ready in Week One if he earns the starting job.

“I’d feel very comfortable,” Dahl said. “After all the reps I’ve gotten this spring, I definitely came so far from where I was, especially right when I got here.”

Having Dahl protecting Stafford isn’t ideal, but for the Lions it may be the least-bad option.

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12 Responses to “Former guard with 20 career snaps may protect Stafford’s blind side”
  1. harrisonhits2 says: Jun 14, 2017 11:17 AM

    Better get you’re runnin’ shoes on Matthew

  2. ramfanmatt says: Jun 14, 2017 11:18 AM

    He underscores the risk of drafting an offensive lineman from a gimmicky college offense. High school kids with aspirations to play in the NFL should avoid these schools if possible. As a Rams fan I got to watch the Rams waste 2 second overall picks on LTs from gimmicky college offenses. They were athletic freaks though.

  3. kenberthiaume says: Jun 14, 2017 11:24 AM

    He’s really good though. I am confident in him.

  4. jchemengr says: Jun 14, 2017 11:28 AM

    They must do better than this or Stafford won’t make it to the bye week.

  5. joetoronto says: Jun 14, 2017 11:28 AM

    I find this hard to believe, somebody tell me it’s not true.

  6. lionfanca says: Jun 14, 2017 11:31 AM

    Were screwed!

  7. bassplucker says: Jun 14, 2017 11:39 AM

    As a Bears fan, I approve of this plan.

  8. drakost says: Jun 14, 2017 11:52 AM

    Geez when you put it that way of course it sounds bad. (:

  9. murphyslaw40 says: Jun 14, 2017 11:55 AM

    Going to be another long year for us Lions fans…

    We were led to believe that with Lang and Wagner, added to Decker and Swanson, and a hopeful emergence of Laken Tomlinson, we could maybe have a stable line this year.

    Wish in one hand, poo in the other.

  10. schmitty2 says: Jun 14, 2017 12:02 PM

    Jim Bob Cooter better dial up some rolling to the right pass plays.

  11. mongo3401 says: Jun 14, 2017 12:04 PM

    I rest my case on the high hyped Olineman coming out of college

  12. jermainewiggins says: Jun 14, 2017 12:08 PM

    As a Vikings fan, I know this feeling all too well… Just hoping last year doesn’t repeat itself.

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