Backus & Jansen, Reunited (and it feels so good)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Nick Cotsonika over at the Freep put up a quick piece talking about the history between Jeff Backus, the Lions' stalwart left tackle, and Jon Jansen the veteran right tackle whom the Lions just acquired. Of course, most know that both played at the University of Michigan together, but few realize how strong the bonds ran between that special U of M offensive line. The bookend pair of tackles helped lead their team to the 1997 national championship, and both have gone on to lengthy, if not overly victorious, NFL careers.

It remains to be seen whether the two will see the field together in 2009. Second-year veteran, and 2008 first-round draft choice, Gosder Cherilus presumably has the upper hand in securing the starting job at right tackle. Jansen will compete with signee Ephraim Salaam for reserve tackle duty, or possibly challenge Daniel Loper and Toniu Fonoti for time at left guard. Still, even if he only serves as a valuable reserve for the Lions, he should provide great mentorship and leadership to Cherilus--and renew his friendship with his old bookend.

Discuss it here, in The Den!