BARRY SANDERS NEWS
The Detroit Lions’ offensive line is stepping up in 2018 and will shoulder the responsibility of lifting the team’s lackluster running game to new heights.
Does an offensive line make the running backs? Or do the running backs make the offensive line? It’s a bit like the chicken or the egg dilemma. In football, at least, the answer is simply both.
In the case of the Detroit Lions, clearly the running backs did not make the offensive line in 2017. But the O-line was certainly part of the reason the Motor City fielding the worst rushing attack in the NFL last season.
But even when the Lions featured Hall of Famer Barry Sanders in the backfield, the offensive line had a role in his success. So even having a transcendent talent at running back doesn’t mean the O-line doesn’t have a vital role to play in the success of the running game.
That fact has not been lost on Lions general manager Bob Quinn. Since arriving in Detroit, Quinn has placed a major focus on improving the offensive line in the Motor City. In his first draft, he used the Lions top pick to select Ohio State left tackle Taylor Decker.
A year later, Quinn signed veteran right guard T.J. Lang and right tackle Ricky Wagner to significant contracts via free agency. And just last month, the young GM again used Detroit’s first round selection on an offensive lineman, this time Arkansas center Frank Ragnow.
After so much investment, Detroit’s O-Line figures to be one this team’s strongest positional groups. As long as they can stay healthy that is. And the first thing on their agenda is to help boost the Lions’ lackluster rushing attack.
“The run game in general is something that we have to make sure we’re taking on our shoulders, and we as an entire unit say that in order to get another one called, we have to earn it,” Lions’ offensive line coach Jeff Davidson told MLive.com.
On top of the investment made to their offensive line, the Lions have also improved their backfield. Veteran running back LeGarrette Blount should provide a toughness that was severely lacking in Detroit last season. The Lions also traded up in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft to select Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson. The rookie runner figures to split carries with Blount, eventually overtaking the 31-year old as the primary starter at some point.
The Detroit Lions already have a passing game that is one of the best in the league. Now add in a completely revamped offensive line that’s been adding talent for the past three years plus two new running backs, and the Motor City’s offense should be hitting on all cylinders in 2018.
Source: Fansided | Steven Mullenax | June 1, 2018