Detroit Lions Offensive Line Under A Lot Of Pressure in 2013

By Devin O'Barr
Offensive Line for the Detroit Lions
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

When the Detroit Lions made the move to bring Reggie Bush to town, the NFL immediately called it a great move considering the team’s weakness on the ground. The Lions are looking to compete in the NFC North, and if they do not have a healthy line the Bush signing will be for nothing.

Last season the running game was nonexistent for the Lions as the club rushed for a mere 1,613 yards which equates to only 100.8 yards on the ground per game–that ranked the club 23rd in the NFL. Detroit is undergoing a facelift on the offensive side of the ball as their one-dimensional offense last year was simply an eyesore. Lions fans are hoping Bush can be the difference maker, but the offensive line is more important than the back himself.

Heading into 2013, the Lions are only returning two starters on the offensive line with veteran center Dominic Raiola and left guard Rob Sims both coming back. This leaves three spots up for competition as Jeff Backus has retired, Stephen Peterman was released and Gosder Cherilus is now with the Indianapolis Colts. Detroit addressed the right guard position in the 2012 NFL draft by selecting Riley Rieff with the 23rd overall pick.

Rieff started seven games last season and this year he is more focused on becoming a mainstay on this line. However, there seems to be a lot of confusion on the line as Rieff said: “It would be nice to know if you’re playing an exact position, but you have to learn that.” Wherever Rieff lines up on Sundays will be crucial, however he needs to produce if this team hopes to take the NFC North from the Green Bay Packers in 2013.

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