The Detroit Lions will find themselves in unfamiliar territory in the 2013 NFL season. Since the 2001 NFL Draft, the Lions have relied on Jeff Backus to play left tackle. In 2013, the Lions will have to start someone else at this position.
Backus announced his retirement on March 14th, after playing in the league for 12 years. The decision to retire came for Backus as a decision to spend more time with his family. In the 2012 season, Backus missed his first games. Backus wrapped up an impressive 187 consecutive starts streak in 2012 that finally ended. Over his career, Backus only missed two games for the Lions.
Lions’ fans seem to hate or love Backus. The good or bad news is Backus might be back with the team in 2013, only this time on the sideline. Backus has been named a part time offensive lineman coach for the team. This unpaid position will see him as more of a mentor and drill leader.
Backus will be working with Jeremiah Washburn, who coaches the offensive line for the first time on his own. The prior four seasons Washburn was the assistant OL coach. Backus will be able to mentor Riley Reiff, a 2012 NFL Draft pick that will take over Backus’s left tackle position.
Backus retired to spend time with the family and get away from the sport of football. It appears that did not last long and Backus finds himself back with the sport he has known his whole life. Time will tell if Backus can help the young offensive line group that the Lions have.