Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Two veteran O-linemen for Lions
By Kevin Seifert
Over the past couple of days, the Detroit Lions have added two free agent offensive linemen who have started a combined 170 games in their careers. On paper, at least, the arrival of guard Jake Scott and guard/center Leroy Harris has made for a crowded depth chart in the middle of the Lions' already-transitioning offensive line.
So what's going on here? Are the Lions disappointed with what they've seen in organized team activities (OTAs)? Are they concerned with their right guard situation, which to this point has featured a competition between Rodney Austin, rookie Larry Warford and a few others?
For now, I think it's best to recall what general manager Martin Mayhew said of the offensive line after the draft in April: "We're really young there so we'll look at some veteran guys there I think over the next few weeks."
Scott, 32, and Harris, who turns 29 this week, fit that bill. They are fallbacks if one of the Lions' younger linemen can't earn the starting right guard job. Both spent time with the Tennessee Titans during the time when Lions coach Jim Schwartz was an assistant there, and to be fair, both have seen better times in their careers.
Harris is recovering from a torn ACL suffered Oct. 28, while Scott was out of the league last season until the Philadelphia Eagles signed him for Week 11 and gave him seven starts the rest of the way.
I don't think the arrival of either player is a sign of concern from the Lions. If anything, it's the fulfillment of Mayhew's earlier promise.