Battle for guard spots crowded, competitive

Thursday, August 20, 2009

While the competition for starting quarterback is getting most of the hype, an even bigger battle is going on with the Lions' offensive guard positions, according to this Associated Press report (which I presume is by Larry Lage).

The Lions have turned over half their roster from last season, and OG was clearly an area they targeted for change. The most recent newcomers are Milford Brown, who started four of the six games in which he played at Jacksonville last season; and Terrance Metcalf, an eight-year veteran who spent his first seven seasons in Chicago before being released in March.

They join another newcomer, Daniel Loper, who came over from Tennessee, where he was a back-up. Incumbent Stephen Peterman is trying to hold onto his spot, and third-year OG Manny Ramirez, who had three starts in four games played last season, seems to be coming on.

Also in the mix is 10-year veteran Jon Jansen, who came over from the Redskins. Jansen has started his entire career as a right offensive tackle, and will likely be a back-up there this season. But he's also been getting practice time at guard and even center. Jansen in the article is quoted as saying he prefers to play tackle, but will go wherever it takes to get playing time on Sundays.

From the A.P. article: Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said the line probably will look the same when Saturday's second preseason game begins in Cleveland, but hinted that five men are competing for just four spots.

"We've got ideas of our rotation, I think it will be pretty similar to the way we did it last week," he said. "We're really about two-deep, anyway, so we're trying to maintain that for the game."

Similarly to the defensive secondary, Lions fans are hoping that when it comes to offensive guard, new equals better.

Talk about it in The Den!