Rookie guard Larry Warford has been a good fit for Lions' offensive line from the start

Posted Jul 2, 2013

One of the younger players in the mix for a starting spot along the offensive line, Warford feels he is acclimating well thanks to help from teammates

Losing three veteran starters and gaining seven new players, the Lions' offensive line has undergone some of the biggest changes of any position group on the roster.

Only having the few weeks of the offseason training program to work together wasn't much time to build a significant level of comfort, especially for a unit that depends on familiarity, but that hasn't seemed to be a problem with the already-tight-knit group.

Guard Larry Warford, who was drafted in the third round of April's draft, is one of the youngest players in the mix and has fit in right from the start, which he says is due in part to their similarities off the field.

"In general, I find that all offensive linemen are the same, they have a lot of the same interests," he said. "We all get along really well and that makes things so much easier for us.

"Rob (Sims) has really been there for me as far as stuff away from football. I went to his house to watch the game, hang out, play pool. I went fishing with Jason (Fox) and Riley (Reiff).

"You don't want to spend all of your time doing football, you don't want to overload yourself or you'll go crazy. They've been very accommodating in helping me with that."

Having that down time away from the fundamentals of the game is obviously important, but even while they're off the field, building those relationships is what will ultimately help their growth and success.

And it seems that Warford's transition from the field to the meeting room to outside of the training facility couldn't be going better.

"He's really taken to our group, and our group has taken to him," offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn said. "He's got a great personality, good sense of humor, self-effacing, which is good for a rookie. He just has a real pleasant demeanor and guys have taken to him quite a bit."

The camaraderie among them has also been instrumental in Warford's acclimation into the Lions' offensive system, which he says is much more difficult and in-depth from playing in the SEC ... not to mention that it also requires a more expansive playbook.

In the process of absorbing everything over the course of organized team activities and mini-camps, Warford found everyone to be helpful, especially veterans like Sims and Dominic Raiola.

"I love having the 'old guys' here," he said. "I was talking to Dom and I said, 'Hey man, when was your rookie year?' and he said ‘2001,' I was 10. I was 10 years old his rookie year. It's so great to have such experienced vets on the team because they can help you anytime you need it.

"If I have a question, I can go to them, and they want to help you so you can help the team progress."