Friday, June 28, 2013
LT contingency plan for Detroit
By Tim Kavanagh
For some people, the Detroit Lions' plans to insert Riley Reiff as their starting left tackle this season is somewhat disconcerting -- bearing in mind that there was talk this offseason that Reiff's best position was right guard. But part of the reason why he's there is that he represents the best option on the roster at the position. So what happens if he succumbs to a serious injury?
In regards to free agents, there are some options available on the market, including Jammal Brown, Winston Justice and Jared Gaither, as well as Eric Winston, who could take over at RT, with Jason Fox or Corey Hilliard shifting to the left. In fact, Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com indicates that whichever of those two loses the battle to start at RT, the other will become the swing backup at both OT positions.
Might not sound like a great contingency plan, but that's where the Lions stand as of now. It might seem that Reiff would then be somewhat irreplaceable, but given that he hasn't really done much at the NFL level yet, that adjective belongs to someone else on the roster, in the opinion of ESPN NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert:
Kevin SeifertCan't-lose players in the NFC North
"The offense would look much different without Calvin Johnson's freakish attributes. Did you realize that Johnson caught 122 passes for an NFL-record 1,964 yards in 2012 even while the Lions faced more pass-stacked sets than any other team? Imagine what he could do if defenses were forced to play honest. We have long known that there are no other NFL receivers with Johnson's combination of strength, size and ball skills. But he has brought it all together in recent years to be just as important to his team as quarterback Matthew Stafford."